When Cole Hamels returns to his hometown to pitch against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night, he'll be returning to the plate to hit for the first time since his final start with Philadelphia before the July 31 trade deadline.
Hamels is a pretty good hitter over the course of his career with a career batting average of .173 with a home run and 28 RBIs. The average sounds far from great, but for a pitcher, it's pretty solid.
So you'd think Hamels would be itching to get back to hitting much like his new teammate Yovani Gallardo, one of the better hitting pitchers in the game, does after years in the National League. Hamels doesn't see it that.
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“I’ve enjoyed the past couple games, because I’ve gotten a good hang on what the American League is and how to maintain your focus,” Hamels told the Dallas Morning News.
It makes sense. In the NL, pitchers must shift their focus every few innings and face off with some of the best pitchers in the game at the plate. In the AL, he can focus solely on what's at hand and what's coming up in the next half-inning.
“I can focus on pitching and getting guys out,” Hamels said.