Monday, May 10, 2010

Figuring out Cole Hamels


Cole Hamels last start was in a way the sum of all the problems that he has had when he doesn’t pitch well. He walked batters, and allowed plenty of hits in his start Sunday at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves. Miraculously, the Braves didn’t capitalize on this and even though Cole was lifted with the score of 4-3 in the 5th inning, he still got the win.
  The first thing I noticed while at the game on Sunday was how far Cole Hamels was walking apart from Rich Dubee after his warm ups on field just prior to the game. After the starting pitcher warms up, usually out in center field, the pitcher then walks in with Dubee and the catcher. Hamels walked alone during this afternoon at about an 8 foot distance from Dubee, and didn’t say much if anything to Dubee along the way. I’ve seen Jamie Moyer and other pitchers make the same walk time and time again, and usually they’ll converse with either the coach or the catcher, but not Cole Hamels.

     Hamels doesn’t even look at Dubee when he is at the mound on Sunday

The second issue I noticed was Cole was still getting upset with either himself, or events on the field and showing his emotions on the mound. He didn’t get a couple close calls for strikes and he was becoming more and more impatient. Dubee then ran out to the mound to try to talk to Hamels. This is when I noticed the third issue.
The third issue started when Dubee trotted out to the mound. Cole couldn’t be more uncaring at what the coach had to say to him, in fact,  a couple moments right after Dubee made in up to the mound and you can see Hamels not even looking at him or caring what he has to say. It was only when the infield moved into the mound and encircled the two, did Hamels appear to listen by looking at Dubee.
It is understandable to be upset at the calls at times that umpires make. It is another to carry on a temper tantrum on the field as Cole seems to do at times. Can his statement made at the World Series last year be a factor, “I can’t wait to get home”? I am not so sure Hamels is at the ballpark a lot of the times, his mind seems elsewhere and when things don’t go his way he gets unglued and can’t patch the holes anymore.

  I think he’s a better pitcher than what we’ve seen from him, but it’s going to have to be him that changes to find the problems. Listen to your coach, take some advice and get your head into the game.

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