Hamels Tagged for Seven Earned in Late Afternoon Loss

Hamels Tagged for Seven Earned in Late Afternoon Loss

Cole Hamels' struggles in the city of New York continue. The All-Star left-hander is now a stinging 1-10 lifetime in starts made on the road in NY.

Coming off his only career win against the Mets at Citi Field—or Shea, for that matter—back in May, Hamels was on the hook for a total of seven runs Saturday. His final line would read:

4.1 IP, 8H, 7ER, 4BB, 3K.

Though the seventh run would cross thanks to the very first pitch thrown by reliever David Herndon, Hamels obviously bore responsibility for the runner, resulting in the seven earned. Danys Baez would go on to cough up four extra in the seventh. Final score: 11-2.

Now, in fairness to Hamels, one of those runs—the first allowed—should be wiped from the total. Cole's first run surrendered came on an infield fly with two outs in the first. What looked like a routine fly ball was was bungled by a miscommunication between Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Either both or neither took responsibility for the catch, allowing the ball to drop and Carlos Beltran-substitute Scott Hairston—who, by the way, frigging torched the Phillies pitchers for 3H, 2R, 5RBI and 1HR—to score from second. Forget Beltran and Ludwick, get me Scott Hairston! Kidding. Sorry. Way too soon.

Replays showed a visibly upset Hamels screaming "Come on!" and other choice phrases in the direction of his infielders, a scene eerily and unfortunately reminiscent of a similar incident in the 2009 playoffs.

While we certainly remember Hamels catching his fair share of flack for that outburst way back when, this particular scenario seemed to merit his outrage. In terms of immediate electronic feedback, some of our readers (see comments) and even our own Penn State football contributor and Examiner.com college football guru Kevin McGuire were quick to defend Cole. Via Kevin's Twitter @KRMcGuire: "Cole Hamels had every right to be upset about that. It's been a while since he showed up his teammates like that." "And for the record, I'm on the side of Cole Hamels there."

Cole's been called out for these sort of reactions in the past, but has been widely considered to have matured over the last two seasons. It's tough to know whether the play—which unfortunately, albeit correctly, was not ruled an error—had anything to do with the rest of his performance. He started out his typically dominant self, locating 18 of his first 20 pitches for strikes, but would grow increasingly unable to find the plate as time went on. Four walks in one game is certainly an anomaly for Cole, who entered the game third in the National League in fewest base on balls allowed per game.

Maybe it was the flubbed fly ball. Maybe it would have been a bad day anyway. Maybe he should have composed himself after the error that wasn't an error. Maybe he had every right to be upset. We'll let you decide for yourselves.

Whichever way you slice it, Cole cracked just the slightest smirk during a conversation with manager Charlie Manuel in the dugout moments after receiving the yank. Translation: Kid'll be fine, no one likes New York.

As for the rest of the Phils, there's not much to be said (solid analysis, great writing, you're welcome). Starter Jonathan Niese tapped into some of his past performances against the Phillies and stymied the lineup for the better part of seven innings. While he would give up two in the seventh thanks in part to a Robinson Tejada fielding error—the backup shortstop's second of the day—he was only charged for 1 earned on 6 hits versus 6 K's and just 1 walk in 7.0 pitched.

Not exactly what we were looking for, but, hey, it happens. The Atlanta Braves continue their series with the Washington Nationals from inside Turner Field at 7:10 this evening, while the Phillies look to take two of three from the Mets tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. As it stands, Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to take on Mike Pelfrey in the rubber match. Catch you then.

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

The Eagles are just 12 days away from the season opener against the Browns. 

And Lane Johnson still isn't suspended. 

The Eagles' starting right tackle is facing a 10-game PED suspension once the B sample returns and shows the same peptide from an amino acid that his A sample did. Johnson expects it to, but it hasn't happened yet. On Aug. 13, after news broke about the looming suspension, Johnson said he thought the results from the B sample back in two to three weeks, although there's no set timetable.  

… Nothing yet. 

So, at what point do the Eagles, who shifted the offensive line in anticipation of the suspension, have to plan for Johnson to be active for the opener? 

"[That’s] a great question, and this is something that we wrestle with every day," head coach Doug Pederson said. "The conversations are such that we've got to have – especially offensively – just have a plan ready to go. 

"I'll tell you this: If he's ready to go, then he's our guy." 

Since news of the impending suspension broke, Johnson has been working with the second team at right tackle. To replace him, the team moved Allen Barbre from left guard to right tackle and inserted rookie Isaac Seumalo at left guard. He stayed there until an injury forced Stefen Wisniewski into the lineup. 

If there's no suspension and Johnson is able to play in the opener, things would then shift back. Johnson would take his job at right tackle, and Barbre would go back to left guard, sending Seumalo and/or Wisniewski to the bench. 

"I think he had a tremendous camp and tremendous offseason at left guard, and you kind of put the pieces back in place," Pederson said of Barbre. "We've seen enough from the [G] Isaacs [Semualo] and [C/G Stefen] Wisniewskis, and [G/T] Allen [Barbre] over there at right tackle that we know we've got the combination of guys – and ‘Big V’ [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] got plenty of reps – to sustain this thing through the duration."

For now, though, the Eagles aren't treating Johnson like a starter. The veteran will be playing on Thursday in the preseason finale. It might be his last game until Nov. 28 against the Packers. Or not. 

The waiting game continues.  

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts despite awful numbers vs. Max Scherzer

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts despite awful numbers vs. Max Scherzer

Despite having awful career numbers against Max Scherzer, Ryan Howard is in the Phillies' lineup against him Tuesday night.

Howard, 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against the Nationals' ace, bats fourth. 

Howard seems to be coming back to Earth. He hit .357 with seven home runs, four doubles and 16 RBIs in his first 20 games out of the All-Star break, but has gone 2 for 16 with two singles and eight strikeouts since.

Jimmy Paredes gets another start in left field. Peter Bourjos is out of the lineup for a fourth straight game.

The rest of the lineup is standard. Odubel Herrera, who bats second, is 6 for 19 with five walks in his career against Scherzer (see game notes).

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Aaron Altherr, RF
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

NFL Notes: Vikings cancel practice after Teddy Bridgewater injures knee

NFL Notes: Vikings cancel practice after Teddy Bridgewater injures knee

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with an injury in practice on Tuesday, causing the team to cut short its session after 25 minutes.

Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a drill when his right leg appeared to give out. Bridgewater immediately went down while concerned teammates and athletic trainers huddled around him.

Coach Mike Zimmer eventually called off practice, and the rest of the team walked off the field while Bridgewater was being attended to.

The nature of his injury was not immediately clear. But there is little behind Bridgewater on the depth chart, with veteran Shaun Hill the primary backup.

The Vikings host Los Angeles Rams in their final preseason game Thursday night. (See full story.)

Chiefs: Justin Houston placed on PUP list
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs have placed Justin Houston on the physically unable to perform list and put fellow linebacker Josh Mauga on injured reserve as they trimmed down to the NFL's roster limit.

Houston is still recovering from surgery in February to repair a non-functioning ACL in his left knee. He will continue his rehab and be evaluated by Dr. James Andrews during the Chiefs' bye week in early October with the hope that he will play at some point this season.

Mauga tore the labrum in his hip in early August. He will have surgery on Sept. 8.

The Chiefs also waived Mitch Matthews, getting them to 76 players by Tuesday's deadline. The limit is normally 75 but Kansas City got a roster exemption for Eric Berry, who reported to camp Sunday.

Dolphins: Dion Jordan to miss first 6 games
DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan has been placed on the reserve non-football injury list, meaning he's ineligible for the first six games of the season.

The move was expected after Jordan, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013, underwent minor knee surgery in late July. He received conditional reinstatement from the NFL last month following a 15-month suspension for his latest violation of the league's substance abuse policy, and has been taking part in team meetings.

The underachieving Jordan has played in only 26 games with one start and three sacks.

Linebacker Zach Vigil, who is recovering from a back injury, was also placed on the non-football injury list Tuesday.