The word dominant hasn’t been used to describe Cole Hamels since right after the champagne dried on the 2008 World Series title.
The up-and-down lefty was in championship form yesterday, staying ahead in counts while keeping the ball down in eight-plus innings. Unfortunately, the Phils’ bats went quiet again.
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating,” said Hamels, who was tagged with his first loss. “If I go out and pitch a good game and if we don’t have the runs to show, then that’s baseball.”
His skipper agreed.
“Hitting, it comes and goes,” Charlie Manuel said.
Indeed. The Phils were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. But don’t blame Hamels. He struck out eight with no walks on 102 pitches. The big mistake came when he left a cutter up and Dan Uggla put it in the left-field seats.
“He didn’t have that inning where he spends 25-35 pitches,” Manuel said. “He had good command, threw balls low in the strike zone.”
Hamels has been experimenting with his new pitch — the cutter — since spring training. He threw about six of them against Florida.
“It’s a confidence pitch, the more you throw it the better you’re going to feel,” Hamels said. “I know if I’m able, if I’m getting the right grip, releasing it in a way that I like, just letting the curve take over, then I’ll get good results.”