Cole Hamels wasn’t too pleased at being pulled after 86 pitches

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Cole Hamels made his 2014 debut last night in Los Angeles and he pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings and tossing 86 pitches. Then Ryne Sandberg pulled him from the game. The problem: the Phillies’ bullpen sucks and last night they sucked again, allowing three runs.

Another problem: after the game Hamels waxed something less-than-enthusiastic about Sandberg’s decision to yank him. Here’s Jim Salisbury from CSNPhilly.com:

Hamels appeared mystified and possibly a little miffed at the early hook. He admitted to being surprised that he didn’t go out for the seventh inning.

“I had plenty left in the tank,” Hamels said. “But I don’t make the decisions. I just have to go out there and pitch and try to be competitive and keep the team in the ballgame.

“They make the decision. They have a scheme, a plan of what they want to do and all I can do is go out there one pitch at a time and see how far I can go, how far they’ll let me.”

Hamels was not aware of any restrictions on his workload.

Hamels added that he had pitched 100-105 pitches in rehab starts, so why 86 now? Especially given a tight game and that bullpen. And Sandberg’s comments don’t seem all that compelling. He said Hamels “did his job” and that it was “his first time out” despite earlier saying that Hamels is under no restrictions.

Anyone else get this? Because I sure don’t.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.