PHILADELPHIA – Phillies pitchers Brett Myers(notes) and Cole Hamels(notes) had a short but tense confrontation in the team's clubhouse following Game 5 of the World Series, according to one witness, words that stemmed from Hamels' recent statement that he was eager for his season to end.
As Myers walked past Hamels near Hamels' locker he said, mocking, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit.”
Hamels, the witness said, responded with an expletive.
Before the situation escalated, Myers was guided away by a team official.
In an otherwise happy Phillies clubhouse – they beat the Yankees, 8-6, on Monday night to force Game 6 – Myers poked at a sore topic for Hamels. The 25-year-old left-hander has had a difficult regular season, then in four postseason starts has a 7.58 ERA. When the Yankees beat him in Game 3, an unhappy Hamels said of the season, “I can't wait for it to end. It's been mentally draining. At year end, you just can't wait for a fresh start.”
His quote did not sit well with some teammates, apparently, and even manager Charlie Manuel was perplexed by it.
“I was surprised when I heard that,” Manuel said. “I was surprised at that. But I don't really understand exactly how he meant that.”
Hamels is said to be disturbed by the reaction to what he believed to be an innocuous comment. In the same interview, he repeatedly said he hoped to pitch Game 7 if the series goes that far.
Myers might want the ball as well, although he is only an option out of the bullpen because he is on the mend from shoulder soreness that caused him to miss three weeks in September. The right-hander has been mostly a starter in his eight seasons and pitched credibly through the 2008 playoffs, but he pitched only 70 2/3 innings in 2009. Myers recovered quickly from hip surgery in June but the shoulder issue set him back and he has made only two relief appearances in the playoffs.
Myers, who had 21 saves in 2007, was thought to be an option in the late innings for the struggling Brad Lidge if he was 100 percent. But Manuel went with Ryan Madson(notes) in the ninth inning of Game 5.