Notes: Hamels ready to go Tuesday
Young ace lefty's elbow not an issue during Saturday session
NEW YORK -- The cool Saturday morning breeze reminded Cole Hamels of April.His arm felt like it was April, too, a good sign for the lefty, who reported no problems after a bullpen session and pronounced himself ready to start on Tuesday against St. Louis. "It really felt good," Hamels said. "It felt 100 times better than my last bullpen that I wasn't able to finish. I threw everything and that was the best feeling, knowing I was throwing my fastball from both sides. It was jumping. My changeup was good and my curveball was surprisingly good. It's nice to actually be able to say that sentence." Hamels treated the 55-pitch session like a start, taking warmup tosses before working two innings of roughly 20 pitches each, and mixing in his repertoire while facing stand-in Chris Roberson. He expects to last 75 to 80 pitches on Tuesday. Either way, he'd still rather be on the mound than in the dugout. "It's so boring sitting on the bench," Hamels said. "If you lose and all of a sudden you're out, it's something that you don't want to happen, because you know you can be a big part of helping the team out." What was that? Chris Coste felt something hit him in the gut, then turned to see a Mets batting helmet on the ground. The equipment thrower was an outraged Marlon Anderson, who had just been called ejected by home-plate umpire Dan Iassongna after arguing a called third strike. The former Phillies second baseman channeled The Simpsons' Comic-Book Guy, as he could clearly be seen saying, "Worst call ever!" He then repeated the word "ever" at least five times. As Anderson was restrained by Mets manager Willie Randolph, he chucked his helmet. He didn't intend for it to hit Coste. "I had my back turned to him and something hit me right in the cup-chest protector area," Coste said. "I barely felt it, and out of the corner of my eye I see his bat flying, and then the helmet." Jose Reyes, who by now had arrived for his at-bat, gave Coste a look of disbelief. Seizing the moment, Coste decided to give the visitors' dugout a thrill by creatively disposing of the helmet. With a swift motion, he booted the helmet toward the screen behind home plate, which the Shea Stadium crowd didn't appreciate. "I wasn't even mad about it," Coste said. "I thought, 'The dugout is going to love this,' and I kicked it. I didn't realize I was going to get booed by 40,000 people. Now I know at least 1 percent of what Jimmy Rollins feels like every time he walks out there. That's a tiny, tiny bit." Pinch me: Greg Dobbs has filled a variety of roles with the Phillies this season, from semi-regular third baseman to first baseman to outfielder to second baseman. This doesn't lessen his contributions as manager Charlie Manuel's main left-handed pinch-hitter. The 29-year-old has performed well in that capacity, and he collected his Major League-leading 13th pinch-hit RBI on Friday, a sacrifice fly that turned into the winning run of the 3-2 win over the Mets.
Dobbs has a .250 average with a .346 on-base percentage in 44 at-bats coming off the bench, and is hitting .281 overall.He owes his pinch-hitting acumen to former big leaguer Dave Hansen, who accumulated 702 plate appearances in that role during a 15-year career, two of which were spent with Dobbs in Seattle. "[Hansen] taught me that you can be the hero or the goat, but you have to handle it the same way after the fact," Dobbs said. "You can't let it get you down and you can't get too high on it. You have to understand that the best [pinch]-hitters in the game might hit .230. He helped me understand how to handle the role, and I watched him have success. He had done it so well for so long. He and Lenny Harris were the best." Dobbs is also helped by playing in the National League, where pinch-hitters are more often used, and by the fact that he starts often enough to keep him fresh. "In Seattle, I might go five, six days without an at-bat, and then boom, go face [Yankees closer] Mariano Rivera," Dobbs said. "That's tough. The more time between at-bats, the harder it is to stay focused. I know that here I have a chance to get an at-bat in every game, and I've never experienced that. That's the beauty of the National League." Quotable: "I still had some gas. I was running on diesel. It doesn't run as fast, but it lasts longer. Pete Laforest, on his jaunt from first to home on Jimmy Rollins' eighth-inning triple Philling in: Fans can register online at Phillies.com for a chance to buy potential playoff tickets for games at Citizens Bank Park. The deadline to register for the Division Series is Sept. 19 at noon. Registration will continue for the LCS and World Series. This will be the only public method of distribution for NLDS, NLCS, and World Series tickets. Shane Victorino showed up Sunday with a Mohawk, much to the delight of his teammates. Abraham Nunez suggested that the team should follow suit if they made the playoffs, then quickly came to his senses.
Coming up: Adam Eaton, who opposes lefty Oliver Perez in the final game of the series on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET, has been a major disappointment this season. But he's been a superstar against the Mets, going 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three outings vs. New York this season and 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA for his career. If he continues that trend, he'll help his teammates pull closer to their NL East rivals.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.