Tag Archives: Philadelphia Phillies

Hamels Focusing On Returning To The Mound

Rangers Cole Hamels

Courtesy: Getty Images

If the Texas Rangers get back into the A.L. West race, they will do it without Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, at least for a couple of months.

The lefty is on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle suffered earlier this month.

“It takes a little time to get over the initial disappointment,” said Hamels. “It’s not fun. As much as being able to root your teammates on every four days, then it kind of gets to the five or six weeks, it’s a long, long time.”

Prior to a scheduled start in Houston against the division-leading Astros, Hamels began feeling pain in his oblique while warming up in the bullpen. Alex Claudio made the emergency start instead as Hamels returned to Arlington for further examination when the strain was discovered.

“It was painful when it happened and I think the case is when it does happen, you know what you did,” said Hamels. “It feels like a knife in your back.”

Hamels is a top-20 pitcher in baseball so the loss hurts. He was 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts prior to the injury. The Rangers will definitely need other starting pitchers to step up in his place until his return. It’s a great chance for Yu Darvish to take off and show his stuff as the ace of the staff, especially during a contract year.

The Rangers go into Tuesday night’s game at The Globe against the Philadelphia Phillies riding a six-game winning streak. During that time, Texas raised their overall record to 19-20 and sit third in the division, a percentage point behind the Los Angeles Angels for second place.

The good news is that despite being a game under .500, the Rangers are just two games out of the Wild Card race. On the flip side, they are eight games behind the Astros in the division. Granted, it’s only May and there’s still plenty of baseball left to be played.

What will help is having a healthy Hamels down the stretch once he’s able to return. As for the here and now, the focus is getting back on the field.

“The frustration and disappointment is over and now I’ve got to move forth and just try to get myself healthy and get back out there,” said Hamels. “I think like anything that kind of occurs that’s unexpected you just want to go out there and be 100 percent when I’m actually ready.”

Doc-tober Magic

Roy Halladay

Welcome to October Roy Halladay.

You couldn’t ask for a better debut. After spending his career in obscurity with the Blue Jays, he finally had his time in the spotlight with the Phillies. In his first ever playoff appearance, he did the unthinkable. “Doc” went to work and threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds.

Halladay was in control from the first pitch in the 4-0 win. Interesting enough, first pitch was an important theme in this outing. Halladay was constantly throwing first pitch strikes, which is one of the most underrated basic fundamentals in baseball. To start the count 0-1 allows a pitcher like Halladay to dip into his bag of tricks and pick hitters apart. And that’s exactly what he did in.

The amazing part of all of this is every pitch Halladay threw had movement, nothing was flat. That led to 8 strikeouts and the Reds never really made good contact all day. Simply put, an unbelievable display of pitching.

The gem was the 2nd no-hitter in postseason history, The Yankees Don Larsen threw his famous perfect game back in the 1956 World Series.

It’s also the 2nd no-no that Halladay threw this year. He tossed a perfect game May 29th against the Marlins.

What’s interesting is earlier in the day the guy that Halladay replaced in the Phillies rotation, Cliff Lee, allowed one hit in 7 innings and struck out ten in the Rangers 5-1 win over the Rays. Imagine if these two were pitching back to back on the same team. You could just leave the bats on the bus, you won’t be needing them.

Doc set the tone not just for the Phillies, but for everyone else in the playoffs. You want October magic, try to beat that one.

Written by C. James