“I just tip my cap and call the Yankees my daddy,” Hamels said after his most recent start this afternoon in Clearwater.
OK, maybe that was a quote from Pedro Martinez.
But it may have well been from Cole after his latest shalacking at the hands of the Bronx Bombers. Hamels gave up 7 runs (6 earned) over four innings of work today. Last October, in Game 3 of the World Series, Cole allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Most experts will say that the results of Spring Training games don’t mean nearly as much as the way players look going through the motions of their positions. The results, good or bad, will work themselves out as players shake off the rust and show their true colors over the course of a 162 game season. Last year, as Phils fans know, Hamels showed off his Mr. Hyde after his Dr. Jeckel of a season in 2008.
Before today’s start, however, Hamels had a 1.69 ERA through three outings this spring. His curveball has certainly been more effective, and he’s still working on that cutter everyone’s been talking about. Word is that the velocity on his fastball is already in the low 90s as well. Certainly, Hamels has looked more like his 2008 World Series MVP form, until today.
Maybe the experts are correct and we shouldn’t take one bad start out of four during Spring Training as any indication of what may take place during the regular season or, hopefully, postseason. But sometimes you just have to tip your cap and ask “Who’s your Daddy?”
In bullpen news, Antonio Bastardo looks to be the front runner to be the healthy left-handed specialist out of the bullpen after the club optioned Mike Zagurski to the minors. Bastardo looked good again today, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three batters.
Brad Lidge made his second appearance today during a Minor League Spring Training game at the adjacent Carpenter Complex. He gave up two hits, one run, one walk, and recorded one strike out. Like Hamels, Lidge is going to try his new cutter this season, after introducing at the end of last season.