Phillies' Hamels makes an enemy: Astros' Hall 'disrespected'

Posted: March 15, 2011

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Chances are, the confrontation between Cole Hamels and Bill Hall that occurred yesterday will be forgotten by the time the Astros and Phillies meet in their season-opening series at Citizens Bank Park. Even if it isn't, it probably won't matter, since Hamels isn't scheduled to pitch during the three-game set.

Still, the two players' brief exchange during the second inning of the Phillies' 7-6 win is worth noting given their disparate perspectives on the events that went down.

Hamels, whose chest-high brushback pitch prompted Hall to yell and gesture angrily at the mound before umpires quickly restored order, laughed off the incident after the game. The Phillies lefty was apparently a bit peeved that the Astros second baseman stepped out of the batter's box twice in a row, prompting him to feign a quick pitch before eventually throwing inside. But, he said, these things happen all the time in baseball.

"Ah, it's nothing,'' Hamels said, sounding quite sincere. "He's a good guy. Just trying to get the game going. No hard feelings.''

Uh, yeah, apparently not so much. An hour or so after Hamels hopped in an SUV and headed back to Clearwater, Hall still was fuming about the situation, telling the Houston Chronicle he felt Hamels "disrespected'' him.

"He's definitely a marked man for me now, so when I do some damage off him, I'm going to let him know I did some damage off him,'' said Hall, who is 3-for-22 with three singles and seven strikeouts in his career against Hamels. "I can guarantee that.''

Hamels allowed three home runs in 3 2/3 innings while operating on a 65-pitch limit. He was charged with five earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

"I don't know if he was mad because he gave up a homer [to Carlos Lee in the previous at-bat] or if he was mad because the umpire gave me time,'' Hall told the Chronicle, "but I'm not going to let him speed-pitch me. Obviously, he threw a pitch in, and I'm not going to let him disrespect me either. He kind of said something that I didn't like too much. It's over with.

"I don't feel like I do a lot of things to have pitchers mad at me for doing things on the field,'' said Hall, who last faced Hamels last May as a member of the Red Sox. "I feel like I play the game the right way. But if you disrespect me, I'm going to do my best to disrespect you back. Obviously not in a way to disrespect the game, but obviously I'm going to let him know when I face him.''

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt are scheduled to start the opening series, with Hamels making his debut on April 5 against the Mets.

The Phillies are in Houston for three games Sept. 12-14.

Hamels expects to pitch three more times before the season, moving his pitch count to 75, 85 and then 95 pitches.

"I felt strong, I was just really inconsistent on the inside part of the plate,'' Hamels said. "I was locating down-and-away, and that was what I wanted to accomplish today. But every time I came in, it was up, and those [resulted] in the home runs.''

For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read David Murphy's blog, High Cheese, at www.philly.com/HighCheese. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/HighCheese.

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