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Cole Hamels has had it with Phillies' offense, and it's completely justified

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The old adage that actions speak louder than words fits Cole Hamels perfectly after the Phillies’ embarrassing loss to the Triple-A Florida Marlins Monday night.

 

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve taken some shots at Hamels back in the day, but I’m going on record in saying he’s possiCole Hamels photoL Chuck Solomonbly the greatest 1-7 pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.

 

And simply put- he doesn’t deserve to be playing with a Phillies team so offensively impotent that they make the 1989 Phillies look like Harvey’s Wallbangers. 

 

To be fair, Hamels has struggled with his command at times this season and his 4.45 ERA isn’t exactly spectacular, but once the Phillies end up in a hole, there seems to be no getting out of it when he is on the mound. If you’re Hamels, it’s probably a pretty sinking feeling, and It’s been like this for years. I used to have a running bet over the last few seasons as to which Phillies starter would give in and publicly gripe about the Phillies’ lack of offense. We all said eventually it would be Hamels, but this didn’t happen how we thought it would.

 

To his credit, Hamels really didn’t say anything to reporters after Monday night's loss, but he didn’t need to. Everybody, including Hamels’ teammates, know that they constantly let him down as far as run support goes. And even if Hamels did say something to throw his teammates under the bus, it's not liek it isn't justified. They might not be happy about it, but what exactly can they say?

 

Make no mistake: despite winning 97 and 102 games, in 2010 and 2011, respectively, the Phillies’ offense has been on the decline for quite some time. Their failure to manufacture a single run for Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS resulted in a devastating 1-0 loss that the team never seemed to recover from. There was hope this spring that Chase Utley would be relatively healthy, that the team would get some (or any for that matter) production from Delmon Young, and that Ryan Howard would returned from his disastrous injury and regain the form that made him one of baseball’s feared sluggers.


Utley’s not playing horribly, but his All-Star days appear to be all but a thing of the past, Young homered in his first Phillies at bat and has done literally nothing since, and Howard is now battling severe knee issues.

 

This news about Howard is probably the most devastating news the Phillies can hear at this time. Simply put: the pinstripes need a healthy Howard in the middle of their lineup or they might have a hard time winning 75 games this season. Apparently, Howard has had this problem on and off since spring training, but it’s just coming to the forefront now. Howard is a 33-year old power hitter who relies on his legs for power.

 

A month ago, one anonymous NL scout gave Howard’s legs last rites.

 

Kind of ominous now when you look back, don’t you think?

 

As we’ve seen with Chase Utley over the last several years, chronic knee issues just don’t go away. You can give Howard as many cortisone shots as you want, but I’ve got news for you: this isn’t going to get any better, and that’s a big problem for the Phillies moving forward. Howard is more valuable to this team than Utley is. The record without him in the lineup speaks for itself. All I have to say is this: “changes in his meniscus”- that’s how Howard’s MRI on his knee was described.

 

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So where do you go from here? Call up Darin Ruff? You’re going to count on a 26-year old rookie with 33 career big league at bats to ignite THIS offense?

 

No disrespect to Ruff, but good luck with that.

 

If the Phillies reached a high point in their season Sunday in their dramatic comeback win against the Reds, Monday was clearly the low point.

 

Let me rephrase that: this team has pretty much hit rock bottom.

 

And Cole Hamels is fed up like the rest of us.




Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Hamels photo: Chuck Solomon