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Cole Hamels

SPORTS
August 27, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
A.J. Burnett's two sons, Allan Jr. and Ashton, scampered through the Phillies clubhouse Monday night with Nerf guns. They shot rubber darts to celebrate their dad's 3-2 win over Washington, and Burnett's dilemma manifested. The last 16 summers were spent away from his family; retirement could tempt him. "I have some options for next year, of course," Burnett said. "But I signed a one-year deal for a reason. Those little rug rats you saw running around here and Karen, my wife, there is a big reason for that.
SPORTS
August 27, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Staff Writer
BEFORE THE well-deserved inductions of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month, an old, familiar advertisement from 1998 made the rounds on the various social-media platforms of the day. "Chicks dig the long ball" was a Nike campaign that took off, thanks, in large part, to the deadpan deliveries of the two everyman-looking Cy Young arms, who, after watching women fawn over the batting-practice blasts of Mark McGwire,...
SPORTS
August 26, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies will use the final 32 games to find solutions, and they must know every revelation cannot be franchise-altering. A team on pace for 90 losses will improve in slow (sometimes painful) increments. That elevates a 32-year-old waiver claim with three quality starts against three contenders to exalted status. This summer, two of the worst teams in baseball jettisoned Jerome Williams. He has carved a successful home in the Phillies rotation, with eight more innings in a 7-1 win over St. Louis as the latest evidence.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
AS THE Philadelphia region prepared itself for the main event of the day's sporting schedule, a Little League game played out during a long inning at Citizens Bank Park on yesterday afternoon. And not of the high-caliber kind that's being played this week in Williamsport. More of the endless, error-filled brand of ball found at your local recreation league fields each weekend in the spring. The fourth inning of a matinee between the Phillies and Seattle Mariners featured a wild pitch, a passed ball, two errors, Cole Hamels' pitch count nearing 90, and one baserunner caught between third and home when his teammate missed a bunt sign.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Ryne Sandberg came to the postgame podium Wednesday wearing a Little League shirt and hat - a homage to the Mid-Atlantic champion Taney team from Philadelphia. It was certainly a nice gesture, but feel free to insert your own punch line about that not being much different from any other day during this lost season. "We all played Little League. It's getting back to the basics of baseball," Sandberg said after the Phillies slipped past the Mariners, 4-3. The basics of baseball were nowhere to be found in Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, however, as the teams combined for two errors, three wild pitches, a passed ball, a botched suicide squeeze, and a bunch of catches in the outfield that looked like magic tricks.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Cole Hamels lingered in the on-deck circle Wednesday as Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen tossed four intentional balls to Andres Blanco. It was the fifth inning, and Hamels knew this ended his uninspired afternoon. He dangled his bat in disappointment. Jake Diekman warmed in the bullpen. Later, after a 4-3 Phillies win over Seattle at Citizens Bank Park, the 27-year-old lefthanded reliever recalled how bleak his practice throws were. He could not control the baseball. "I was panicking," Diekman said.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
AS MANY AS 35,000 people trekked to see the latest episode in Taney Little League's destiny run last night, fueled by ESPN's blanket coverage and the appearance of star pitcher Mo'ne Davis on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, and fueling further adulation and, yes, unease. The concern that this is too much too soon is well-meant. But if I've learned anything as a parent helping to raise three children to adulthood, it is that as much pressure is felt during an untelevised regional spelling bee or debate at that age as there is a televised game.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
A.J. BURNETT'S answer wasn't definitive, but it did reinforce the widely held belief that the veteran pitcher would lean toward retirement when the 2014 season ends. After taking the mound for his 27th start of the season on Tuesday night, Burnett earned himself a half-million dollars (a performance bonus in his contract) and set himself up to make $1.5 million more for next year, too. Burnett's player option for the 2015 season can increase twice more this season if and when he reaches 30 and 32 starts on the season.
SPORTS
August 21, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins got the night off Monday in a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners, Carlos Ruiz took his place in the batting order and looked comfortable in the No. 2 hole. Ruiz went 0 for 2 but drew walks in his first three at-bats and scored the Phillies' first run. This season as the No. 2 hitter, Ruiz is batting .269 but has a .437 on-base percentage in 87 plate appearances. He has drawn 14 walks, scored 12 runs and has an .840 OPS. Ruiz is obviously comfortable batting high in the order.
SPORTS
August 19, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO - Two Giants runners occupied the corners, and David Buchanan glanced toward the Phillies dugout. The rookie righthander held up one finger - he wanted a final chance to escape Sunday in the seventh inning. He shook his head when Ryne Sandberg moved toward the stairs. "My job is to go as deep as I can," Buchanan said after a 5-2 loss to the Giants. "I tried to keep us in the game. But I'm getting really tired of not finishing innings. I don't know what it is. I don't know if I'm pressing or what.
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