Phillies Notes: Hamels keeps getting better

Starter Cole Hamels delivers to the Braves in the first inning. Hamels was sharp Monday night, striking out eight through seven innings. The Phillies were also in top form, taking a 4-0 lead after a 1-hour, 48-minute rain delay in Atlanta.
Starter Cole Hamels delivers to the Braves in the first inning. Hamels was sharp Monday night, striking out eight through seven innings. The Phillies were also in top form, taking a 4-0 lead after a 1-hour, 48-minute rain delay in Atlanta. (Getty Images)
Posted: August 15, 2013

ATLANTA - The pitcher who shut down the best team in baseball Monday just so happened to lead the majors in losses. Cole Hamels is the latest proof of why measuring a pitcher by his win-loss record is arcane. Ask the hitters he silenced.

"He might have been the best pitcher we've seen all year," Braves outfielder Justin Upton said.

Hamels (5-13) was that good Monday in a complete-game victory, and his recovery from a shaky beginning to 2013 is notable. His ERA is 3.65, the lowest it has been all season.

He said Monday was the most fun he has enjoyed in 2013.

"It's just being able to go out and not let the little things get to you," Hamels said.

Before, they did. Various cross-sections tell the story of Hamels' improved performance. He has a 1.98 ERA since July 1 and a 2.67 mark since the start of June. Then again, Hamels has not been overly ineffective at any point in 2013.

Erase Hamels' first two starts in April - against Atlanta and Kansas City - and his ERA is 3.15. That figure ranks 28th among all major-league starters since April 8.

The Phillies have scored two or fewer runs in 11 of Hamels' 25 starts. Those account for seven of his losses.

"I look at him as still a good pitcher," manager Charlie Manuel said. "A big-time starter."

Manuel's 1,000th

After Hamels won, Carlos Ruiz presented Manuel with a base signed by the entire team to commemorate his 1,000th victory. They made a toast to 1,000 more.

"It's definitely quite an achievement," Manuel said. "Like I told my players, they're the ones that make it happen. . . . Everything I achieve, accolades or something in baseball, it's hard for me to stand there and say I accept all of my accolades because the other people are definitely achieving those for you."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Manuel owns the 19th-best winning percentage (.548) all-time among managers with at least 10 seasons.

Extra bases

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla will undergo lasik eye surgery. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Uggla leads the National League in strikeouts and was hitting .186. . . . Casper Wells started his first game for the Phillies, in center field, since being claimed off waivers. . . . The Phillies will face Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in consecutive games this weekend when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Citizens Bank Park. Kershaw has a 1.88 ERA.


 

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