Let the hand-wringing continue as Cole Hamels endured another rough outing last night.
Last year's playoff and World Series hero saw his record fall below .500 for the first time in his big league career as the Mets knocked him around for ten hits and four earned runs in five innings of genuine labor. Hamels has struggled all season with his command and last night was no different. Though they may be a mere shadow of their expected selves, the depleted New Yorkers had no trouble recognizing fat pitches when they saw them. The centerfield camera didn't lie this night; too often when Hamels needed a strike he painted the center line right down Broadway.
Though I did not see every pitch he threw, I do not recall Hamels throwing a single breaking ball all evening. He remains overwhelmingly a two-pitch hurler, a decent fastball but with little apparent movement and his bread-and-butter pitch, the change, which is only effective when it changes off something. Hamels must not trust his breaking stuff at all.
It's hard to know what the answer is in this case. Hamels claims he is healthy and the Phils will have to take him at his word. Allowing him to work through his difficulties may be the only real option.