Phillies ace allows career-worst nine runs in 3 1/3 innings
By Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Friday night at AT&T Park was one Cole Hamels would probably like to forget.
The 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player lasted 3 1/3 innings in a 15-2 loss to the Giants, tying a career high in hits allowed (12) and giving up nine earned runs, the most he's surrendered over his 10-year career.
"It's always nice and easy to have something that goes great, but sometimes that doesn't happen," Hamels said. "You have to keep battling. This game can be a physical and mental grind."
Things got ugly from the get-go, as the Giants greeted Hamels with three straight singles to load the bases in the first inning. The left-hander got Buster Posey to ground into a double play and escaped having allowed just one run.
But Hamels loaded the bases three more times in the fourth inning and San Francisco took full advantage. Two-run singles by Angel Pagan and Matt Duffy extended the Giants' lead to 5-1 before Hunter Pence smacked a grand slam off his former teammate to cap an eight-run frame.
"Sometimes when you're not able to make the right pitches at the right time and you're leaving pitches out over the plate, confidence can build," Hamels said. "Especially with a good team."
The three-time All-Star saw his ERA jump from 3.02 to 3.63 in what was his shortest start since April 5, 2011, an Opening Day loss to the Mets in which he surrendered six earned runs.
Hamels has been a hot topic of discussion in the baseball world in recent weeks, as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline steadily approaches.
Hamels has publicly stated he would be open to being moved to a contender, and following Friday's game, he explained how he's dealt with trying to focus on pitching amid trade speculation.
"You have a lot of things that are out of control," Hamels said. "Sometimes there's uncharted territory and you just kind of have to go with it and hope that you're going in the right direction."
As the interim manager of a Phillies team that fell to 31 games under .500 three days before the All-Star break, Pete Mackanin said he knows where his ace is coming from.
"I understand the situation he's in and I get it," Mackanin said. "When you're on a losing team, it's not a lot of fun."
Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.