Aug 132011
Phillies ace Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels had a stiff arm in Friday night's loss to the Nationals

An off night for Cole Hamels may have an explanation.  Per Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, Hamels is dealing with a stiff arm.

“[Cole] was stiff,” Manuel said in his post-game presser.  “It looked like was having a hard time getting loose.  He didn’t have command and his shoulder wasn’t getting loose. He was having a hard time finding his fastball.”

Hamels night included three runs and four walks on only five innings pitched, with the the Phillies ultimately losing to Washington 4-2.  In addition to the control issues Hamels was struggling to achieve his normal velocity, rarely even breaking 90.

Asked whether there was any concern Manuel was succint and to the point.

“Yes there’s definitely a concern, but at the same time it’s just a bad night,” Manuel said. “It wasn’t one of his better games but he was battling. He’ll tell you better than I can.”

The good news is Hamels himself says he’s pain free and is in no way worried.

“It’s one of those times of the year,” Hamels said, per “Travelling, pitching a lot of innings, things kind of mount and you just have to battle through it. … It just kind of comes up. You don’t ever know and you just try to do everything you can to get your body back and kind of waiting for your body to jump back, and I haven’t felt that yet. Once I start getting that jump, I think everything will smooth out.”

Hamels stressed again that he wasn’t dealing with any shoulder discomfort.

“Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it happens in the middle, late … depending on the weather, the temperature, the schedule, how many games, innings, it just kind of happens,” he said.

While his drop in velocity is a concern, and despite the Phillies track record in massaging the truth with injury situations, Hamels should at least get his next start in before the worrying really begins.

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