Cole Hamels did not exactly play up to his potential Tuesday afternoon when the Philadelphia Phillies played the Dominican Republic national team. With the Dominicans being a favorite to win the World Baseball Classic, it is no surprise that their lineup was loaded today. Jose Reyes, Miguel Tejada, Nelson Cruz and Hanley Ramirez were among the stars of the Dominican team that beat the Phillies by a final of 15-2.
Hamels himself said that he “ran into a bullet today” as he gave up 12 hits and eight runs in his innings pitched. He also said “Thank goodness that didn’t count,” which makes it seem like he is already able to laugh off his performance and put it behind him as spring training continues.
Hamels had one of his worst starts in recent memory, but there are a few reasons why this should not concern anyone. First, this is still spring training and still somewhat early in the spring season. Also, he was facing practically an All-star lineup. Finally, he seems like he will not let this tough start affect his mindset entering the season.
The start of the season is big for Hamels because he will be the opening day starter for the first time in his career. He will be seen by many people as the ace of the rotation this season, moving above Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, which is quite an accomplishment. So, he has more important games to worry about this season and he will not be letting this one game let him lose focus of that.