Phillies Notes: Cole Hamels victimized by dreaded pitch count

Posted: June 26, 2012

Cole Hamels and Charlie Manuel weren't going to push the pitch-count meter.

The Phillies lefthander threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, walking three, and striking out seven in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of a split doubleheader Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

The reason for his departure while holding a 1-0 lead was his pitch count. Hamels had thrown 111 pitches, and both he and Manuel thought that was more than enough.

"Unfortunately, when you get to that sacred [pitch-count] number you tend to understand it's kind of part of the game now, and you don't want to push it," Hamels said.

When asked whether he had reached that number, Hamels didn't say yes or no, but it was obvious how he felt.

"I love to start and finish games, but that said, it can be very hairy trying to do that for a whole season, and how long can you last for your career?" Hamels said. "I think it has worked out so far."

Antonio Bastardo entered in the eighth and was the losing pitcher, allowing three runs on Carlos Pena's three-run home run.

Manuel didn't second-guess pulling Hamels.

"He didn't say that he was done," Manuel said. "I took him out of the game because he was at 111 pitches and it was a hot day, and he pitched good."

That was Hamels' 15th start; his highest pitch count has been 114. Hamels (10-3, 3.03 ERA) has thrown more than 100 pitches in 12 starts. The fewest number of pitches he has thrown in a game this year is 92.

"I have gone out a lot of times and made 110, 112 pitches, and once you are past that, I think that is when you get that injury feeling," Hamels said.

Utley to triple A

The Phillies said that Chase Utley would continue his rehabilitation assignment Tuesday at triple-A Lehigh Valley. The team would not comment further.

Lehigh Valley hosts Rochester in Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. game at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.

A CSNPhilly.com report said the Phillies hope to have Utley in their lineup by Wednesday. He has not played for the Phillies this season because of chronically ailing knees.

Utley has played in nine games for single-A Clearwater. Friday and Saturday were the first time he played second base in consecutive games. He batted just .156 (5 for 32) with one home run and five RBIs.

The second baseman last played for the Phillies in the National League division series against St. Louis, when he batted .438 (7 for 16) with one RBI.

Quick call-up

Righthander B.J. Rosenberg began his day in Columbus, Ohio, where his Lehigh Valley team was playing, but landed in Philadelphia on Sunday morning.

Under the new collective-bargaining agreement, teams can call up an extra player for a doubleheader as long as it doesn't happen the day after a postponed game.

Rosenberg, who will turn 27 in September, was recalled for the second time this season. Even if the call-up lasts just one day, Rosenberg was savoring his time in the big leagues.

"A young guy in the position I am in, anytime you get an opportunity like this, it's awesome," Rosenberg said before the first game. "If I go up and down, that is how it is, and anytime I am up, it is really exciting."

He had a rough outing in Sunday's second game, allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Moving up the K list

With seven strikeouts Sunday, Hamels has 1,197 for his career. He is tied with Hall of Fame righthander Jim Bunning for the sixth most in Phillies history.

Here are the top five:  

1. Steve Carlton, 3,031  

2. Robin Roberts, 1,871  

3. Chris Short, 1,585  

4. Curt Schilling, 1,554  

5. Grover Alexander, 1,409


Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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