Cole Hamels was the 2008 World Series MVP. He was the Philadelphia Phillies’ best pitcher in the 2012 season, posting a 17-6 record with an ERA of 3.04. Taking his year into consideration, Ruben Amaro signed the southpaw to a lofty contract amounting to 144 million dollars for the next six years. Cole came up through our farm system, so he’s a homegrown player. Us fans, with our love for, in a sense, pure players, tend to fall in love with guys who don’t just climb the ranks well, we love the ones who climb our ranks well. And Hamels has done this.
Until this season. Currently, Hamels is 2-11 with an ERA exceeding 4.50. His confidence is at an all-time low, and his stuff just doesn’t seem electric anymore. This lack of explosiveness in his strikeout pitches, notably his changeup, has led to higher pitch counts due to foul balls and thus fatigue. He also seems to be reverting back to 2009 Cole, an emotional and sensitive mess who was quick to flip on umpires and turn on his teammates. He seems to do more wrong than right, and that’s something your Opening Day starter should not be allowed to do.
Granted, the run support has been atrocious. The Phillies offense has scored less than forty runs in his last 96 innings pitched as of last Thursday. However, last Friday the Phils puts up a trio of runs in the second inning, an acceptable cushion especially for an ace pitcher. Hamels proceeded to let the Mets tie the game and then take the lead in his six innings of work. An alarming statistic: Hamels is 1-8 with an ERA over 8 when his offense scores three or more runs for him. That right there is very frightening for the Phillies. What more can they do?
I was at the game on Friday, and what I saw disgusted me. I also happened to see a struggling ace enter the dugout and commence slamming his glove down onto the bench. I really hope he shapes up soon; I don’t particularly care for this Cole. I like 08 World Series MVP, 2012 17-win Cole Hamels. Let’s hope he makes a comeback. Soon.