It's customary these days to lament Cole Hamels' lack of support, defensively and especially offensively, and wonder when, if ever, he's going to catch a break.
Frankly, he blew his chance last year when he re-signed with the Phillies. Surely Hamels must have realized he could have signed with plenty of other teams who might field contenders, but instead he re-upped with a Phillies team in clear decline. In his defense, Hamels might have signed here because he liked playing in Philadelphia, liked his teammates and didn't really need another x-million dollars to make him feel superior. So, let's give him some credit.
OK, now that we've done the right thing, how about that 1-8 record? Well, he has a high ERA, too, but when one analyzes the overall scheme it's clear to this observer the further Hamels goes into a tight game without an inkling help is on the way, the finer he pitches, thus opening himself to leaving pitches over the plate (he is among the league leaders in home runs allowed) or suffering through the breakdown of teammates who feel just as tight as he does through much fault of their own.
One day the Phillies are going to score a lot of runs in a Hamels' start and he is going to get the win, but the intervals between such circumstances are not going to contract with this lineup.
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Domonic Brown is proving just about everyone wrong about his potential by putting together a pretty decent season thus far. Nearly everyone, yours truly included, was ready to give up on the former phenom, who prior to this season has battled (in no particular order) injuries, lack of consistency and a brutal lack of confidence on the part of management.
Truth be told, Brown is more of a rookie this year than in any prior season because he has been handed the job and kept it. Even his defense has improved with regular playing time. He has been a bright spot in an otherwise fairly miserable and dull season.