When Ethan Martin spoke of his new surroundings in the Phillies’ clubhouse, the young right-hander with terrific stuff pointed toward Cole Hamels.
“It’s great to be here since I can learn from guys like him,” Martin said.
The lesson to be learned this year from Hamels is how to deal with adversity. Early in the season, Hamels had trouble locating his fastball and lost some ballgames he should have won.
But Hamels has turned it around, even though his team has had trouble supporting him on the scoreboard.
“I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” Hamels said last week. “I can only focus on what I can do.”
Hamels has certainly matured. There was a time when he would raise his arms in disgust when an error was committed behind him. If he did that this year, he probably would have pulled a muscle by now. The Phillies have simply not come through for Hamels or anybody else.
Hamels (5-13) leads the league in his losses, but it’s not his fault. He has a 1.98 ERA in his last eight starts. It wouldn’t be surprising if Hamels, 3.65 ERA right now, finished with an ERA under three. That shows how bad it is for the Phillies.
“I believe the offense will get it going,” Hamels said.
Perhaps it will happen in 2014. It doesn’t look promising in 2013. The way the team is playing, it’s probably not in the injured Ryan Howard’s best interest to rush back. The same could be said for Ben Revere.
There’s not much to play for when injuries pile up and the team is buried in the standings. Well, except one thing.
“You play for pride,” Cliff Lee said. “You have to.”