My son graduated from high school last weekend. His girlfriend, who happens to be a Phillies' fan, bought him tickets for the final game of the Yankees-Phillies series at the Stadium. Did she know the significance of the game when she purchased the tickets? Probably not, but yesterday was in fact notable for a number of factors. Firstly, Ivan Nova made his first start following his season-ending Tommy John surgery more than a year ago. And he was stellar with seven shut out innings; just what we needed. Besides Nova's great outing, the game offered fans a Dunkin Donuts gift card, a picture perfect baseball weather day and Phillies' ace Cole Hamels on the hill.
Besides trying to persuade his girl friend to wear a Yankee hat and become an instant Bomber fan, he took the Stadium's pulse on whether or not Cole Hamels was worth a second look. Well, fans were excited to see the ace on the mound as it made for a great story book ending for Nova's first day back in the saddle but Hamels' outing was nothing to write home about. He was far less than stellar and the Yankees beat up on him through five innings. Hamels has lost his last three starts in a row, but today's start was by far the worst of the three with Hamels giving up five runs via eight hits raising his ERA to 3.26 and his win-loss record to 5-6. Not the kind of numbers we need in our pitching staff, which has seen a steady decline in CC Sabathia and Chris Capuano bumped from the rotation to the bull pen where he has not really been effective.
Do we actually give Hamels a second look? Maybe. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for the left-hander. I hope that Aaron Judge's move up to the Railraiders is not a set up for a trade. I also hope that Luis Severino is not serious trade bait either. Like we stated earlier this week in the post YUP, COLE HAMELS WOULD COME TO THE YANKEES, "Would Hamels be a good fit considering CC Sabathia is not the same pitcher and Chris Capuano is now a bullpen guy? I'd say, YES if Cashman, figure out a way to make this work." The key words are: "making this work."
And by the looks of things right now, I am not sure how. Joe Girardi stated during his press conference after Wednesday's game that our pitching right now is good enough to make it to the post season. How confident am I in this statement? Maybe 70%. For the right price, right deal, Cole Hamels is worth a second look, but as a fan tweeted to me yesterday:
@snydesn2 not much! Second look maybe but not the farm for sure.
Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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