LOS ANGELES - It couldn't be less fair.
What might be remembered from Cole Hamels' start against the Dodgers last night is that it followed the celebrated birth of his firstborn, Caleb. That Hamels scurried out of Citizens Bank Park last week as soon as he was pulled from a disappointing start in the National League Division Series, to be with his wife at the hospital. That he stayed behind in Philadelphia with his new family while the team traveled to Colorado in the snow and cold to finish off the Rockies.
That Hamels worked out at the ballpark, not with the team; that, in the evenings, he cuddled with Heidi, his wife, and their 6-pound bundle of joy and promise.
What should be remembered from last night's game is the 360 pounds of ineptness around second base.
First of all, if shortstop Jimmy Rollins cleanly fields the routine, two-hop doubleplay ball from Andre Ethier, Hamels and the Phillies escape the fifth inning with no blood loss.
Second, if Chase Utley cleanly transfers Rollins' toss, the Phillies still have a chance at getting Ethier at first base. Unsurprisingly, that didn't happen. Utley threw the ball into the dugout.
Hamels threw his arms up in despair.
"I made the right pitch to Ethier. I got just what I wanted," Hamels said.
Having executed without result, Hamels was clearly flustered.
"It takes a lot out of you. Those guys are very tough hitters," Hamels explained. "You get them in a position where you can seal the deal, and you don't, it takes a lot of emotion to get through that. I really thought we had that."
A doubleplay, and Russell Martin doesn't score from third to make it 5-2.
A doubleplay, and Manny Ramirez doesn't come to the plate at all that inning.
As it was, Ramirez waited for Hamels to show his changeup. At 2-0, Hamels did. Ramirez dipped his back leg, flicked his wrists and snapped a homer to leftfield to make it 5-4.
Hamels acknowledged he relied on bat-slowing, predictable changeups as he faced Ramirez, a veteran hitter, a future Hall of Famer who outguessed him on changeup No. 3.
"It was a good pitch. It was a bad sequence," Hamels said. "Nine out of 10 times, that gets a rollover, but he can hit the ball wherever he wants.
"Who looks for a changeup 2-0? I think he was, though."
Asked whether he was irritated by Ramirez' signature post-homer pose, Hamels replied, "We'll see."
Hamels regrouped, retired Matt Kemp for the third out, and, since his spot in the lineup didn't come up, he retook the mound in the sixth. But he was worn, and three batters and two singles into the sixth, he was spent. He left with the lead, and got the win.
Hamels exited Game 2 of the Division Series, beaten by the Rockies, perhaps distracted by a wife overdue.
Last night, he left beaten by his own team.
Maybe Martin shouldn't have been on second to start the fifth. Maybe Rafael Furcal shouldn't have moved him to third with a one-out single. Maybe Hamels should be able to throw a fastball strike to Ramirez in the subsequent at-bat.
But the Dodgers are a solid team, with a strong, efficient lineup. They're the best team in the league. They will get runners on base, even against other teams' better pitchers.
On the other hand, the defending world champions should be able to turn a simple doubleplay in a big moment. It is what Hamels was hoping to induce.
Hamels scoffed at the notion that being a new father affected his performance: "No. It's baseball."
Maybe, someday, Caleb will be up the middle himself.