Cole Hamels Chokes for the Phillies in Game 3, Giving the Yankees a 2-1 Series Lead
Nov 2, 2009
After a hour and twenty minute rain delay on Halloween night, it was finally game time and the Phillies started off with a bang with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. It's difficult and confusing to watch your starting pitcher have an amazing four innings and then completely choke, followed by a mental break down. Cole Hamels struggled all year with his head just not being in the game. When his misfortunes carried over into the postseason, rumors were ignited that Hamels would not be given a World Series start. But there he was on Halloween night and he looked like he finally got his stuff back. Then Hamels started throwing his curveball. The 25 year old is known to have a decent fastball and a devastating change up, a pitch he was using all night to gets guys out. His curveball and his lack of focus was what lost this game as he was booed off the field after he left the game in the top of the fifth.
While Cole was a big factor in the Phillies loss on Saturday night, there was a controversial homerun call in top of the fourth when A-Rod hit a "double" off the camera in left center. Apparently the camera had been discussed prior to the start of the game, yet it hadn't been moved by first pitch and the umpires all agreed if the camera hadn't been there, the ball would have been a homerun, giving the Yankees a one run deficit. Homerun or not, the hits didn't stop there as pitcher Andy Pettitte hit a single to bring Nick Swisher home, followed by a double from Johnny Damon to bring both Pettitte and Derek Jeter home in the fifth, giving the Yankees a 5-3 lead. It got worse for the Phillies in the sixth when Nick Swisher, who's bat had been silent throughout the postseason, went yard to bring the Yankees lead to 6-3.
If you know the Phillies, you know they don't go down without a fight. In the bottom of the sixth, Jayson Werth came to the plate with one homer in the game already and with one swing of the bat, he cut the Yankees lead to two, adding another homerun to his amazing postseason. Unfortunately, the rest of the Phillies lineup couldn't get anything else going and the game went into the top of the seventh. Not happy with what they had, the Yankees drove in yet another run off the bat of veteran catcher Jorge Posada and then a solo shot from Hideki Matsui in the top of the eighth, giving the Yankees and commanding 8-4 lead. In the bottom of the ninth with some life still left in the Fightin Phils, Carlos Ruiz hit a blast to left center cutting the Yankees lead to three. Like clockwork though, Mariano Rivera came in to shut the door and get the final two out and the win for the Yankees.
It's hard enough to lose a game, but to have your teams former ace have a mental breakdown afterwards is embarrassing. Instead of taking the loss and coming out the next day fighting strong, Cole Hamles went on air and said, "I can't wait for it to end. "It's been mentally draining. At year's end, you just can't wait for a fresh start." This isn't the first time Cole Hamels has complained during the 09 postseason, telling the media that it was not fair that the Phillies had to play during the day in the NLDS. He also had a childish moment on the mound, raising his hands in the air after Chase Utley made a bad throw. What kind of message does that send to your team? That you don't want to play anymore? If I was the Phillies, I wouldn't have any confidence left and it almost showed in game four last night as the Phillies are now behind three games to one after another tough loss to the Yankees. Shame on you Coles Hamels, shame on you.