Tag:Cole Hamels
Posted on: April 23, 2011 1:51 am

3 up, 3 down: Anibal just misses no-hitter


By Evan Brunell

3 UP


Anibal Sanchez, Marlins -- Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning but had to settle for a complete game one-hitter. He's already tossed a no-no, so the former Red Sox farmhand clearly has no-hit stuff -- he just needs to stay healthy. He finally got a full season in last year, and the 27-year-old appears on the verge of stardom. His ERA entering the game was 5.53, but given his 3.57 xFIP, that was bound to go down. It did, all the way to 3.55.

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- Think it's time to take Bautista for real? Plenty were skeptical about the former backup repeating his career year, but the 30-year-old has pretty solidly shown he's here to stay. He went 3 for 3 with two walks, a RBI and four runs and Toronto needed all of them to beat the Rays in 11, 6-4. Bautista is now hitting a cool .339/.480/.661 and pitchers clearly want nothing to do with him. If he does end up walking 136 times this year (what he is pacing), that would be the most bases on balls in a season since Barry Bonds walked a ludicrous 232 times in 2004. Bautista had 100 last year, so it could happen. 

Cole Hamels, Phillies -- Hamels was a man among boys, going eight long before graciously allowing Ryan Madson to notch a save. He allowed just four hits and three walks and whiffed eight, blanking the Padres in a 2-0 victory. Every one of San Diego's starter except third baseman Alberto Gonzalez struck out, and even Gonzalez didn't have a full game as he was lifted after two at-bats. The No. 4 starter, Hamels is showing he belongs in the conversation with best pitchers in the game, as his ERA dipped below 3.00 to 2.92.


Rain -- The weather was not kind Friday, wiping out three games. The Yankees/Orioles, Nationals/Pirates and Indians/Twins games will have to be made up at another time. It's not that common you see three games wiped out and although every April people moan about rainouts, it feels especially bad this year, doesn't it?

Casey Coleman, Cubs -- Poor Chicago can't really do much here as it doesn't really have any options to replace Coleman; the Cubs have enough trouble trying to find a fifth starter. Colemans' ERA ballooned to 7.43 after Friday's debacle in which he handed the Dodgers six runs in just three innings. He whiffed four, but he also walked four. Coleman may have a decent career as a swingman for the Cubs, but the 23-year-old just doesn't have it this year.

Adam Dunn, White Sox -- Dunn is still recovering from an appendectomy, so you could excuse him for not getting in the groove just yet. Still, Friday showcased what you usually get from Dunn without any home runs -- an 0-for-4 skid with three strikeouts. Dunn's pacing for 178 strikeouts, which is nothing new for the slugger, but the White Sox will gladly take it if Dunn can swat 40 home runs. He's got two on the season, so has some catching up to do.


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Posted on: April 10, 2011 4:18 pm

Big bounce-back outing for Hamels

By Matt Snyder

Cole Hamels was brutal in his first start of the season, allowing six runs on seven hits in just 2 2/3 innings against the Mets. Sunday, he had the chance to get back on track and did just that. He breezed through a pretty solid Atlanta offense, striking out eight and giving up only four hits and one walk in seven shutout innings. It should effectively eliminate any overreactions after his first time out.

The rebound shouldn't be a surprise. Hamels had a 2.07 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 107 strikeouts in his last 104 1/3 innings last season. He then threw a shutout in the NLDS. He's 27 and is every bit as talented as the rest of the staff. Roy Halladay is clearly the best pitcher of the vaunted group, but Hamels is capable of becoming the second-best -- yes, he has the talent to be better than both Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

After Hamels' big outing Sunday, the Phillies are now 7-2.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 7, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: April 7, 2011 10:17 am

Pepper: Concussion concern

Yunel Escobar
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar may be the test case for Major League Baseball's new concussion guidelines after leaving Wednesday night's game against the A's following a collision with Oakland third baseman Adam LaRoche.

Escobar stayed in the game after he ran into LaRoche's knee on a head-first slide into third following a fifth-inning triple. After fielding his position in the sixth, Escobar was taken out of the game because of dizziness. He was taken to a hospital for testing and stayed overnight.

Escobar convinced manager John Farrell to keep him in the game after the incident and even wanted to stay after his half-inning in the field. Still, he was at shortstop jumping up and down and shaking his head.

Farrell said the team was waiting to see how he reacted and didn't like what they saw. Diagnosing a concussion is difficult, especially when an athlete is conditioned to play through pain, so managers need to be more proactive when a head injury occurs. Farrell acted and luckily it wasn't too late.

It won't be a surprise if Escobar is the first player to wind up on the seven-day DL for concussions. MLB has stepped up to the plate in giving teams ways to properly treat concussions, now it's time for the teams to follow through and use them. [Globe and Mail]

IS TODAY THE DAY? -- Can the Red Sox actually win a game? CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss it.

FIRST PITCH WORTH SEEING -- The White Sox's home opener today and throwing out the first pitch will be Minnie Minoso. Minoso is anywhere from 85-91 and one of the great ambassadors of baseball. We used Baseball-Reference.com's player oracle linking franchise legends to current players and I swear a good third of them that I did included Minoso, who played his first big-league game in 1949 and his last in 1980 (although, he did manage just five games after 1964, appearing in three games in 1976 and two in 1980 in a  publicity stunt). [Chicago Tribune]

LA RUSSA UPSET -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has found an easy scapegoat for his team's 2-4 start, the media. You'll never lose in a public opinion poll when you place yourself against the fourth estate. Baseball's king of deflection is at it early this season. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

GOOD SOLDIER -- Mariners second baseman Jack Wilson said he was in agreement with manager Eric Wedge's decision to pull him after two errors on Wednesday. The question is, with his contract up at the end of the season, could Wilson be traded away before the season ends to a team that needs a shortstop (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Houston?), especially with Dustin Ackley waiting to take over at second base. [Seattle Times]

BOO AWAY -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel understands why fans booed Cole Hamels on Tuesday -- it is Philly after all. [Philly.com]

CAREER NUMBERS -- Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman have been in the National League Central long enough to have played nearly a season's worth of games against each team. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold breaks down Pujols' and Berkman's 'seasons' against NL Central opponents. The conclusion? Those two are pretty good -- and the Reds don't want to see either. Pujols' best numbers -- .372/.456/.695 with 45 HR and 134 RBI in 157 games -- are against the Pirates, and the Reds are in second place (159 games, 43 HR, 133 RBI, .356/.440/.656). Berkman's best are against the Reds, hitting 49 HR, 137 RBI and .318/.438/.678 in 152 games against Cincinnati.

SMALL BALL -- For just the second time in the nine-year history of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, there were two straight games without a homer on Tuesday and Wednesday. The only other time that happened was Aug. 6-7, 2005 against the Marlins. That hasn't hurt the Reds, who scored 20 runs in those two games. The Reds have scored 43 runs through the first five games, the second-best mark in their history. In 1976, Cincinnati had 44 runs through five games. That team, of course, repeated as World Series champions. The team is also 5-0 for the fifth time in history -- twice winning the World Series after such a start (1919, 1990).

JUDGE ME NOT BY MY SIZE -- The Royals' Tim Collins and the Braves' Craig Kimbrel are proving you don't need to be tall to throw hard. [MLB.com]

RATINGS UP -- The Nationals' TV ratings for their opening series against the Braves were up nearly 100 percent. [D.C. Sports Bog]

CABRERA HITS 250 -- Miguel Cabrera hit his 250th career home run on Wednesday and Tiger manager Jim Leyland said he was sure his slugger would have "250 more." It seems likely if Cabrera stays on the field. [MLive.com]

SIPP STEPS UP -- Tony Sipp has emerged as the Indians' setup man. [Akron Beacon Journal]

OPENING DAY -- Today's opening day for the minor leagues. The game to watch is in Rome, Ga., where Bryce Harper will make his professional debut for the Class A Hagerstown Suns. [Rome News-Tribune]

HALL OF FAME PIG -- Ryne Sandberg, the new manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is comfortable in his new job with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate. [Allentown Morning-Call]

RALLY CAP -- The Altoona Curve is the first professional team to feature a reversible cap with a design in the lining to make a rally cap. The inside features a lining depicting the team's "rally mascot" Al Tuna. It's a pair of googly eyes, representing the head of the fish mascot. [MiLB.com]

MAKE IT A DOUBLE -- The Red Sox are getting closer to being able to selling mixed drinks at Fenway Park after reaching an agreement with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other interest groups. This comes just in time, as the Red Sox are winless. [Boston Globe]

TEIXEIRA LAUNCHES DREAM TEAM -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira donated $1 million to the Harlem RBI program. [MLB..com]

SHEPARD DIES -- Larry Shepard, the former Pirates manager and pitching coach for the Big Red Machine, died on Tuesday. He was 92. Shepard managed the Pirates in 1968 and 1969 and was the Reds' pitching coach from 1970-78. He also served as the pitching coach for the Phillies and Giants. [Associated Press]

RETURN TO MONTREAL -- The Blue Jays are considering playing exhibition games in Montreal and other Canadian cities. [MLB.com]

A REAL CLASSIC -- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" will be preserved at the Library of Congress along with 24 other recordings chosen for their cultural significance. [Associated Press]

10 YEARS OF PNC -- One of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball turns 10 this year, as the Pirates start their home opener on a roll, winner of their first two series. Even 10 years old, the $270 million stadium is still one of the best in baseball, even if its tenants haven't been. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

MLB.COM Q&A -- The boss over at MLB.com talks about technology and baseball [All Things Digital]

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Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 10:41 pm

Young owns Hamels, Phillies

By Matt Snyder

When the rival Phillies and Mets were set to square off Tuesday night, the pitching matchup certainly seemed to favor the home team. Cole Hamels was taking the hill, and his counterpart was picked up by the Mets on a one-year bargain contract. It all went out the window rather quickly, though, due to someone taking over the spotlight and winning the game.

Just get the weird movie reference overwith and call him Mighty Chris Young.

Young looked solid on the hill, giving up only one run in 5 1/3 innings and striking out seven. But -- are you ready for this? -- he shined with the stick. The 6-foot-10 pitcher cracked three singles in as many trips, the second of which chased Hamels from the game in the third inning. Young also scored once and drove in a run.

And Young wasn't alone in terms of owning Hamels. The Phillies' lefty lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs to the Mets.

David Wright also had a bit of fun for the Mets, going 4-5 with two runs, two RBI and a double.

I'm guessing the 3-1 tie atop the NL East standings is just as pretty to Mets fans as the 7-1 final score -- especially considering the enormous gap in expectations between the two teams entering the season.

But for one night, let us leave the deserving in the spotlight. It was Chris Young's world.

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Posted on: March 19, 2011 8:21 pm

3 up, 3 down for 3/19: Say goodbye to Oliver

By Matt Snyder


Oliver Perez, Mets. The much-maligned lefty has been a huge talking point all spring for Mets fans and scribes alike. Will the Mets simply cut their losses and eat the remainder of his contract -- which is one year and $12 million? They are already eating $6 million after dismissing Luis Castillo. Saturday, Perez probably put the nail in his own proverbial coffin. He entered the game in the seventh inning and coughed up back-to-back jacks after inheriting two runners. Reports have the Mets cutting ties with him as early as Sunday.

Cole Hamels, Phillies. For the second-straight outing, Hamels was torched. He allowed seven hits, five earned runs and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He did strike out five.

Jason Marquis, Nationals. Not to be outdone by his fellow NL East bretheren, Marquis served up nine hits, six earned runs and three walks in 3 2/3 innings to the Mets. Despite Perez's best efforts to let the Nats back in the game, Marquis still took the loss -- as if that really matters in the spring.

3 UP

Derrek Lee, Orioles. He took a walk and scored a run in two plate appearances. His other was a strikeout, but the main thing was the veteran first baseman played for the first time this spring and reported afterward he was pain-free.

Trevor Cahill, A's. He had struggled thus far in the spring, but not Saturday. Cahill worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run. He struck out three.

Travis Wood, Reds. At the same time Johnny Cueto was leaving a game injured, Wood was making a strong case to make the Reds' rotation even if Cueto is completely healthy. He was straight dominant through four shutout innings, and finished with four hits, one earned run and four strikeouts in five innings. He did seem to tire a bit in the fifth, but we're still a few starts away from the regular season. He'll get there.

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Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: March 15, 2011 12:48 pm

Bill Hall too angry for spring training

By Matt Snyder

So, let's set the scene: Bill Hall steps into the batter's box -- in a spring training game, mind you -- and believes Cole Hamels quick-pitched him. That means, for those unfamiliar, he wasn't really settled in the box when Hamels began his delivery. It's perfectly legal but quite annoying as a hitter. So before next pitch, Hall calls timeout and steps out before Hamels has a chance to quick-pitch him again. This is also perfectly legal and also very annoying for the pitcher. Next, Hamels brushes Hall back off the plate.

He didn't hit him in the head or around the knees or ankles -- all no-nos when it comes to making a statement from the hill. He just backed him off the plate. Still, Hall took enough exception that he started yelling at Hamels. Fortunately Laz Diaz was behind the plate and got between the two.

After the game, Hamels couldn't have been more professional, saying nothing more than Hall is a "good guy" and he didn't really want to talk anymore about the small incident.

Of course, Hall was a bit opposite. He felt -- here we go! -- disrespected. Via MLB.com :
"He's definitely a marked man for me now, so when I do some damage off him, I'm going to let him know I did some damage off him. I can guarantee that. ... If you disrespect me, I'm going to do my best to disrespect you back. Obviously not in a way to disrespect the game, but obviously I'm going to let him know when I face him."

I'm normally totally against the uppity, old-school types who proclaim things like, "back in my time ... " but guys nowadays are way to sensitive about being "disrespected." It's such a tired act. Two players annoyed each other, that's all. It should have been buried there, just as Hamels tried to do.

And, really? We have Bill Hall talking trash about what he's going to do to Cole Hamels? And it's not if, it's "when?" Wow. On one side we've got an All-Star; a World Series MVP who had a 3.06 ERA last season. On the other, a guy who had a really good season in 2006 and now can't find more than a temporary home as a sub. Even funnier, Hall is 3-22 career against Hamels (.136) with seven strikeouts, no walks and zero extra-base hits.

Maybe take Hamels' lead and go with the high road next time, Bill.

Hat-tip: C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 5:20 pm

Hall calls Hamels a 'marked man'

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Just because the games don't count at this time of year doesn't mean things can't get serious. And new Astro Bill Hall is getting serious with Phillies starter Cole Hamels.

Hall said Hamels is now a "marked man" to him -- but said he wasn't referring to any kind of violence against the pitcher.

Bill HallIn the second inning of Monday's game between the teams, Hall started shouting at Hamels after being pitched inside. Hall felt it was in response to him stepping out of the box to avoid being quick-pitched. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz restrained Hall, the infielders started coming and both benches were warned, although nobody left the bench.

"He threw a pitch in, and I'm not going to let him disrespect me either," Hall told the Houston Chronicle. "He kind of said something that I didn't like too much. It's over with.

"He's definitely a marked man for me now, so when I do some damage off him, I'm going to let him know I did some damage off him. I can guarantee that."

Hamels, though, didn't see it as that big of a deal and there were "no hard feelings."

When asked if he buzzed Hall's tower on purpose, the dodged the question.

"It's one of those things, I kind of don't want to speak [about]," Hamels said. "It's baseball. I don't know him personally, but I do know he's a good guy. It's just kind of something that happens to get the game."

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Posted on: February 15, 2011 8:12 pm

Oswalt may retire; Hamels wants to stay in Philly

OswaltEven though the Phillies have a vaunted Big Four, it may not be together for very long.

Roy Oswalt (photo, left) has reiterated his stance that he could retire after 2011. Oswalt has a $16 million team option, but that didn't seem to matter to the 33-year-old.

“I’ll play this year and see how it goes,” Oswalt told FOX Sports. “I’ll see where my body’s at and pretty much go from there.”

But while Oswalt considers retirement, Cole Hamels is in the middle of his prime and is set to make $9.5 million this season before becoming eligible for arbitration after the year for the final time. That means Hamels could move on from Philadelphia as soon as after the season in trade or as a free agent after 2012.

But Cole Hamels (photo, right) wants no part of that.

“I want to be here as long as I possibly can,” Hamels said. “It’s why Cliff [Lee] came back. It’s the reason Roy [Halladay] wanted to be here. It’s a great place to play. I want to be here for the majority of my time of being a baseball player. I’ve never looked at anything else. I just know that if I stay healthy and I’m able to go out and help the team, that is all going to speak for itself.”

While that sentiment is admirable, it may be difficult for the Phillies to retain Hamels. The club will pay out $45 million alone to both Halladay and Lee in 2013, with $82 million already guaranteed in total contracts. The Phillies will have to replace Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton in the rotation as well as deal with potential vacancies in the outfield and every infield position save first base. That's a lot of available positions and only so much cash to go around.

That said, Halladay and Lee are no spring chickens, and can't even be considered summer chickens by the time 2013 rolls around. Philadelphia would likely commit what it takes to retain Hamels and then focus on the offense,. 

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com