Not that guy again

When his career is over and he has his lone Cy Young Award and six Cole Hamels Awards in his trophy room (or a cardboard box in the garage), Phillies’ left-hander Cole Hamels could remember the 2007 season as the year he found his footing as a Major Leaguer. But until then Hamels is likely pretty peeved that he blew a two-run lead in the sixth inning of last night’s game against the Florida Marlins.

Worse, Hamels was touched up for a four-run, game-breaking sixth inning against Marlins goofy lefty Scott Olsen, who seems to be despised by opposing ballplayers and sportswriters equally. The players seem to dislike Olsen because he appears to talk an inordinate amount of trash for a rather ordinary player. Writers seem to dislike him because he ruined a few stories with poor pitching during last season’s wild-card chase.

If there is one thing that irks writers more than anything it’s having to rewrite a perfectly good story when deadline is quickly approaching. In that vein, Travis Lee was a killer during the 2001 season. Worse, he was miserable when approached in the clubhouse.

Nevertheless, Hamels could have been adding victory No. 7 to the ledger based on his first five innings of work and the fact that he was facing the combustible Olsen. Certainly seeing that dude on the other side is enough to give the opposition some confidence.

Said Hamels to reporters last night: “I definitely saw that light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I was pitching well enough to pitch another couple innings and get the ball in the hands of Brett. And when Brett has the ball, the game is over. I saw that. I felt it. I know the team definitely saw that, too. Especially when you’re playing against a pitcher that’s not on everybody’s good side. You want to go out there and win as bad as anything, but especially against him.”

If there is a bright side to the loss it’s that Ryan Madson pitched two perfect innings in his return from the disabled list. Madson whiffed two hitters and threw 16 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Certainly adding a healthy Madson back to the bullpen could be a huge lift for the Phillies.

***
It’s worth noting that last year’s first-round draft pick, Kyle Drabek, is pitching well for Single-A Lakewood. In two of his last three starts, the hard-throwing righty has tossed two-hitters through 7 2/3 innings and 7 innings. And in eight starts, Drabek is 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA and has 43 strikeouts in 49 innings. Opponents are hitting just .227 off him.

Meanwhile, struggling first-round pick Greg Golson has shown marked improvement this season. With five hits in his last 10 at-bats for Single-A Clearwater, Golson is up to .295 and is second in the league with 14 stolen bases.

Ovandy Suero, for the Lakewood Tigers, leads the league with 33 stolen bases in 35 games. Yeah, 33 stolen bases in 35 games… what are other teams thinking when he gets on base?

“Uh, guys. I think he might try to steal. Call it a hunch.”

2 thoughts on “Not that guy again

  1. Your “struggling” Greg Golson has NOT been “struggling” all season. As a matter of fact, he was doing well long before he was promoted to Clearwater the last part of Last Season! Please research subject matter before unleashing misleading info on the net! Greg Golson was named the Phillies Minor League ‘Player of the month’ for April 2007 and his stats are just fine.

  2. Hey anonymous –
    To write that Greg Golson struggled during his short minor league career is a kind categorization. To be fair, he’s been inconsistent until this season, which, as I wrote, has been quite successful. However, Golson has been very consistent in his ability to strikeout. Heading into this season he whiffed 320 times in 269 games.

    In the Baseball Prospectus yearbook, Golson was described thusly:

    In a nutshell, everything about being a baseball player that comes from athletic ability is something Golson has: everything else is missing. He has bat speed, power, a strong throwing arm, and runs well, all pluses. Unfortunately, he doesn’t recognize pitches, has no concept of the strike zone, has a mechanically awful swing, can’t read a pitcher’s move so as to leverage his speed into stolen bases, and takes bad routes in the outfield. He’s young enough to harness his raw talent, but that’s quite a bronco for him to have to bust.

    In other words, labeling Golson as “struggling” heading into this season — which as I wrote is going very well — was tame. If he continues on the path he has carved out through the first two months of the season he could climb through the minor league ranks quickly.

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