The highest-paid athlete in Philadelphia sports history and former World Series MVP was pulled after just 84 pitches — even though Hamels regularly throws over 100 pitches in most of his starts. Hamels does not get the opportunity to register many wins simply because he is playing in front of one of the most impotent offenses in the majors, and getting pulled from a winnable game after just 84 pitches added insult to injury.
The Phillies went on to rally for a run in the bottom of the inning and Hamels would have gotten the win. After the game, Hamels said the obligatory things about it being a good game and that he was happy the team was able to win, and he dodged a question about being visibly upset while being pulled. When a reporter asked him to clarify his feelings about Sandberg taking him out so early, Hamels cut the interview short and exited stage right, walking through the reporters and then into the showers.
While Hamels was composed after the game, during the game was another story. Hamels looked around in disgust as Sandberg made his way to the mound. When he left, he tossed the ball in the air and it landed in Sandberg’s hands. All of that, and Hamels’ curt responses afterward, made it clear that he is a competitor who still had plenty left when Sandberg pulled him. This is the third time in the last week that players have been miffed by Sandberg’s moves. Bottom-of-the-rotation pitchers David Buchanan and Kyle Kendrick have also shown up Sandberg after being pulled, but they deserve far less respect than Hamels does.
Unlike those two, Hamels has a point and the street cred only a 2.59 ERA supplies, and hopefully Sandberg will take that into consideration before the next quick hook.