Tonight was horrible. Cole Hamels couldn't get out of the third inning against a lineup that featured Brad Emaus and Mike Nickeas, and neither of them is the pitcher. The pitcher was actually Chris Young, who had two hits in the third inning, the first time a Mets pitcher has ever had two hits in an inning. All in all, against a team that's the laughing stock of baseball, Hamels went 2.7 innings and gave up 6 earned runs, 7 hits, and 2 walks.
What's worse is that the fans clearly haven't forgiven Hamels for 2009. Even though he was the World Series MVP in 2008 and even though he was dominant in the second half of last season and even though he'd be a clear number-one pitcher on many teams, the fans still think negatively of him. Whatever it is, his schtick isn't flying here in Philadelphia.
The team has three other real aces, and Kyle Kendrick showed tonight what he's made of. He knows how to get people out. And Hamels is in the last year of a three-year contract.
Hamels has to go. Now. When he still has some trade value. Before he produces another outing like tonight, the team should get on the phone and trade him. We have excellent starting pitching without him and a huge hole in right field, not to mention no one in the system to take either of the middle infield spots that are in peril longterm. Hamels could fetch a decent contact hitter to fill the vacuum left by Jayson Werth or a scrappy utility infielder to fix the soon-to-be-created holes up the middle.
If he stays, we'll just be treated to more gutless performances like tonight. Sure, he may be able to have another stretch of 28 starts of 2.68 ERA and .663 OPS against with a 175:51 strikeout to walk ratio, like he did from May 4 forward last year. But, is it really worth the risk that he continues to disappoint and frustrate? After all, this is guy who gave up 6 runs in one inning to the Mets tonight!