Does he stay or does he go? Hamels loses to Yanks 10-2 in return from hamstring injury

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NEW YORK — Every time Cole Hamels takes the mound, he knows it could be his last start for the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It's just kind of normal, going on 12 months," he said after Wednesday's 10-2 loss to the New York Yankees. "You don't have control over anything — it's an organizational decision. I think all I can do is either help them or be myself."

After missing his previous turn because of a strained right hamstring, Hamels (5-6) allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings. Signed at $22.5 million a season through 2018, he is among the veterans the last-place Phillies may trade by the end of July.

"I have to pitch every five days and I'm trying to stay healthy and just trying to put up good results for this team, trying to be accountable," he said.

Ivan Nova (1-0) returned from Tommy John surgery and stifled the Phillies on three hits over 6 2-3 scoreless innings in his first major league appearance in 14 months.

Philadelphia has failed to score while Hamels has been in the game in seven of 15 starts this year and has been shut out in 32 of his last 33 innings. After winning the first two games of the series 11-8 and 11-6, the Phillies were blanked until the ninth, when Domonic Brown hit an RBI single against Diego Moreno and scored on Cody Asche's groundout.

"Sometimes when you're scoring a lot of runs, you get confident that you can hit any pitch, even the pitcher's pitch, and you're going to get a hit and you're going to be able to put it out of the ballpark," Hamels said. "You can get a little bit overly aggressive over a couple of days, but I'd have to say Nova pitched pretty well and it was impressive to watch."

Hamels was hurt by his defense, partly his own. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz and Hamels were slow to react to Didi Gregorius' bunted chopper off the plate, and third baseman Andres Blanco made a bad throw home in New York's two-run second.

Blanco then allowed Chase Headley's broken-bat grounder to glance off his glove for an RBI double in a three-run fourth that started with shortstop Freddy Galvis losing a popup in the sun that dropped for a double.

"As soon as the ball hit the ground, with that runner, it's a tough play. It looked like one of them could have caught that in the air," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Gregorius' bunt. "I thought Blanco made a good play in trying to go home on the throw, a heads-up play, but threw the ball wild."

But, more importantly, Sandberg thought Hamels was rusty,

"His command was off, missing his spots," the manager said. "It just wasn't his day out there."


Both benches were warned by plate umpire Brian O'Nora after Hamels hit Alex Rodriguez on the thigh with a first-inning pitch. Phillies rookie slugger Maikel Franco was plunked by Justin Wilson in the seventh inning Tuesday.

Sandberg didn't think the warning affected Hamels.

"He still pitched inside with his cutter. He just seemed to be missing, just off the plate, not allowing him to get ahead of the hitters, ahead in the count," Sandberg said. "All of the little nubbers and the little things that didn't go his way added up."


Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected from the dugout by first base umpire Alan Porter following a checked swing in the third by Franco, who had 10 RBIs in the first two games of the series. "I told him he swung. He said something, and I said he swung, and he said knock it off, and I said I'd knock it off if you got the call right. And he threw me," Girardi said.


Phillies: RHP Aaron Harang (4-9) starts a series opener Friday against Washington and RHP Max Scherzer (8-5), who pitched a no-hitter against Pittsburgh last weekend.

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