PHILADELPHIA — Fans who took a quick glance at Cole Hamels’ pitching statistics from Tuesday night might think the Phillies starter’s shoulder injury is not fully healed.
Turns out Hamels’ shoulder is fine. It’s his pride that’s hurt.
Hamels delivered one of the worst performances of his career in a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday night. The game was played in the rain and cold and Hamels could not handle the adverse elements.
“I’m truly embarrassed,” he said.
The left-hander, making his first home start since returning from a shoulder injury, allowed six runs and eight hits in 4Å innings. Hamels walked five and hit a batter. He threw 106 pitches — just 55 for strikes. Hamels walked the opposing starting pitcher to force in a run.
Afterward, Hamels was brutally honest in speaking with reporters.
“Sometimes you have to battle the elements and the elements definitely got the best of me,” Hamels said. “It was a very poor performance.”
Tuesday night was the first of what was suppose to be a two-game series with the Mets. Rain postponed Wednesday’s game. It was rescheduled for June 2.
Hamels knew Tuesday night’s defeat to a National League East rival was an opportunity lost. The defeat dropped the Phillies back to .500 (13-13).
“The game that I went out there and pitched is not the type of game I like to credit myself on,” he said. “Playing teams in your division, you want to win especially starting a series.”
Hamels is now 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA after returning to the Phillies rotation after missing much of spring training and the first month of the season with shoulder troubles. He has walked the opposing pitcher in both his starts.
The Phillies obviously need Hamels to pitch better if they are to contend for a playoff spot.
Hamels was 8-14 last season but received little run support. He started 2013 1-8. The Phillies hope Tuesday night is not the beginning of another peculiar, hard-luck start for Hamels.
The lefty appeared healthy Tuesday. His fastball measured its normal 93 mph on the Citizens Bank Park scoreboard. He used his curveball and changeup to keep the Mets off balance for at least the first two innings.
But the weather got the best of Hamels.
Hamels said he wants to move past Tuesday’s performance as quickly as possible. His next start is scheduled for Sunday against another division rival — the Washington Nationals.
“I’ll probably do the same thing I normally do,” he said. “I’ll get my workouts in. I’ll probably focus a little more on locating your pitches.”
Hamels did keep his sense of humor. New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game last week and suspended for 10 games for having pine tar on his next against the Boston Red Sox. Pineda said the pine tar helped him grip the ball in cold weather.
“Tuesday might have been the day to use pine tar,” Hamels said with a small laugh. “But unfortunately I don’t do that. Today might have been the day to learn.”
Extra innings: The Phillies are off Thursday and then will begin a three-game series against the Nationals on Friday. Philadelphia announced Wednesday that Cliff Lee will pitch Friday and A.J. Burnett on Saturday. Kyle Kendrick, who was scheduled to pitch Wednesday, will not start until Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Contact Michael McGarry: