NEW YORK - Cole Hamels exuded caution during spring training. He twice postponed his throwing program when biceps tendinitis and a tired arm served as red flags. The Phillies and Hamels were deliberate in their progressions.
He threw a career-high 133 pitches in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the New York Mets, more than any pitcher in the majors since Tim Lincecum emptied 148 pitches July 13, 2013, for a no-hitter. It was Hamels' fourth start of 2014. He did not see any risk in the heavy workload.
"You want to go out there and compete," Hamels said. "If you're physically able to do so, then I don't see any reason why not. I'm here to pitch."
Hamels said he threw more before, but not since his days at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. He was disappointed that it required 133 pitches just to finish seven innings. The lefthander has thrown 61 percent strikes in his first four starts this season. His career rate is 67 percent.
"Too many balls," Hamels said. "I'm not getting ahead of hitters early. That's what's making things pretty tough. It's not going to put us in a good position; it's not going to put me in a good position. It tends to make the games a little bit longer. I really need to be able to establish the strike zone early."
Hamels embodied perseverance. The Mets lineup, long his nemesis, was 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position against him. They loaded the bases in the fourth with one out and never plated a run. The lefthander finished six innings at 111 pitches, which would have been enough on a normal day.
He returned for the seventh and outlasted a 2-minute, 32-second replay review on a groundout, and a Daniel Murphy double. Catcher Wil Nieves called for a sinker on the 133d pitch. It jammed Chris Young, who flied out to center.
Hamels may not pitch again until Saturday with an extra day of rest. Manager Ryne Sandberg said there were no concerns about the 133 pitches.
"No," Sandberg said, "not to the point he's at now."
Freddy Galvis injured his left shoulder at triple-A Lehigh Valley when he crashed into a wall in pursuit of a fly ball. He underwent X-rays, and the injury was feared to be serious. Galvis was optioned Thursday by the Phillies with the hopes he could regain confidence with regular at-bats in the minors.