Cole Hamels didn’t have his best stuff on Wednesday afternoon.
He issued a two-out walk to Francisco Cervelli in the third inning before going to a full count with the next batter, Jordy Mercer. He gave Mercer a get-me-over fastball, the Pirates shortstop launched it over the tiki bar beyond the left field seats.
"That's spring training - I know I'm not here (trying) to make the team," Hamels said afterward. "I think for what I've done in the past, I have a pretty good spot."
Hamels surely didn't have to worry about anything that happened in an afternoon that ended with the Phillies taking a 3-2 victory over the Pirates. The Phils erased a 2-1 deficit in the sixth inning, when Ben Revere (single) and Cesar Hernandez (double) led off with his and eventually scored.
Hamels remains in line to take the ball for the Phillies on Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park, barring an unforeseen spring training trade. He'll be atop a Phillies rotation that is facing another season when they might have to play without a healthy Cliff Lee.
"I know we have a lot to work on as team and I think that's why we're down here to really come together and set goals every day and try to execute the (team) we're striving to become and the image we want to uphold," Hamels said. "If a guy goes down it provides another opportunity for a couple other guys. I think the guys have to be ready no matter what even if it's a big name veteran or it's a young guy. Every guy has to step up. That's kind of the game of baseball."