Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/20/12

During his last four starts, Cole Hamels often looked like an agitated pitcher who seemed a little bit out of sorts.

So in the second inning on Tuesday night -- after the left-hander walked opposing pitcher Josh Outman with one out -- there was a sense that it was happening again.

At that point, Hamels retreated from the mound and visibly took a deep breath.

"You learn to step off the mound and that there's a time and a place for everything," Hamels said. "You get another pitch and get another chance to throw a ton of pitches in the game. Ultimately, the most important one is the one that I'm going to throw next."

That little bit of regrouping helped a struggling Phillies team find its way. Hamels retired 13 straight hitters en route to an eight-inning, two-run, six-hit outing in a 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park.

"I did better getting ahead of hitters and finishing them off," Hamels said. "That was something I was having trouble with -- finishing guys."

After struggling early in the game with his control, Hamels was in complete command. He mixed pitches and found a way to keep Rockies hitters off-balance.

"It looked like he was having a little trouble," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "But once he walked the pitcher, it looked like he really regrouped. He started not only establishing his fastball, but throwing good strikes, quality strikes."

"His fastball looked real good and the changeup came later and then the curve," Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "I think that was the difference."

Hamels entered Tuesday night struggling in June, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA after posting a career-high eight-game winning streak entering the month.

"I feel strong and feel like my velocity is there on every pitch," Hamels said. "I can throw the pitch where I want it to be. But the game is more than physical. You have to prepare and you have guys on the other team trying to prepare. You have to play the mental chess game a lot, just keeping that confidence in yourself.

"That's going to come and go in this game, and other guys have been through it. You just have to step back and know that it's baseball and you have to take one game at a time, one pitch and one inning at a time."

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