It was bound to happen soon enough. I mean Cole Hamels is human. We all know that from last season's World Series hangover where we saw Hamels struggle all year and in the playoffs.
Hamels has been working on new pitches to add to his arsenal this season. He is mixing in a curve and a cutter to go along with his fastball and change-up. And so far this spring they have been working. In over 10 IP, Hamels has only given up 5 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 9. Today against the New York Yankees he lasted only 4 innings surrendering 9 hits and 6 runs.
Lucky for him some guys new to the Phillies uniforms helped bailed him out. After Hamels gave up a first inning run, the Phightins came right back with a five spot in the bottom half thanks to a two-run home run from new third baseman Placido Polanco and a three-run double from catcher Dane Sardinha who later hit a solo shot to tie the game up at 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth.
Hamels really got into trouble in the 4th inning giving up a triple to Ramiro Pena, who finished 2 for 4, and a two-run homer to Mark Teixeira to give the Yankees a 7-5 lead. Teixeira would go on to finish 4 for 4 and Hamels would barely finish the 4th inning. His day was done after recording the final out to end the 4th.
The Phillies then brought in a Rule 5 pick up David Herndon who has not given up a run in eight innings pitched this spring. He pitched two scoreless innings to keep Philadelphia in the game. Antonio Bastardo then came in with a little of the same not allowing a run in two innings while striking out three. Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless ninth to set of some more Philly dramatics.
Wilson Valdez hit a two out, two-run walk off home run scoring Greg Dobbs for the Phillies. It still is Spring Training but a win is a win.
On a side note - Sardinha was catching today for the regular everyday start Carlos Ruiz who was out with the flu.
The Phillies are 9-7-1 this Spring.
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