Hamels Shows Maturity

2 of 3
Game 27 of a 162-game marathon season certainly doesn’t qualify as a must-win game.  Except, a win tonight would give the Phillies two out of three, a pattern that leads to October baseball.  The Phillies have won their last three series (not including the 1-gamer vs. Houston).

First 13 games               Last 13 games
3-10          Record                 9-4
.253          Batting average  .292
5.20          ERA                    3.63
5.93          Starters ERA       3.75
4.00          Relievers ERA     3.34
9               Errors                  6

Still GrowingHamels303sm
How many times have you seen a veteran pitcher get tagged early and then close the barn door? We saw it many times when Steve Carlton was on the hill for the Phillies.  What Cole Hamels did last night, was huge, especially for a 23-year-old in his second big league season.

Atlanta scored three runs in the first inning quicker than an NFL draft selection.  Cole then blanked the Braves until he left the game in the eighth inning.  It is all part of the process of maturing as a major league pitcher.  Generally, that process takes a long time evolving. 

Cole had a great quote about his early game troubles: “It’s tough to play against 10 people — nine of them and one of yourself.”

The maturation process was also evident in another one of his quotes: "If you want to be a great pitcher, you have to know how to get out of that situation. It’s something I aspire to and want to become, so I know I need to bear down and relax."

One of the things Charlie Manuel preaches is “know yourself.”  Cole does.

A reader asked “What’s up with Ryan Howard?”  From what I can gather, he’s a bit anxious at the plate, which can be typical of a young hitter.  They are pitching him in more this year and he’s chased pitches on occasion.  On Monday night, he drove a ball to left field, something he did frequently last year.  To hit the ball the opposite way, a batter needs to wait on the ball.

As Manuel has said, “Ryan will hit. Book it.”

National TV
For those Phillies fans not in the immediate Philadelphia area, tonight’s game will be on ESPN.


Equally important to Hamel’s success was the Phil’s striking back in the top of the 2nd. Bottom of the line up is clearly the biggest improvement from last year.

As far as Howard I expected a slow first month. This year he resembles a lineman more than a tight end. Is there a difference in weight from last year?

Related to tonights game, could you please explain to me why its on espn, but those of us without cable( I have DirectTV) cannot see the game despite the fact its a wed night NATIONAL broadcast. The Inquirer the other day said the game could be seen on both when its on ESPN/CSN as a result of the new MLB TV Deal. Very dissapointed i couldn’t watch tonight. Hopefully you can give me an answer. I very loyally watch the CW games, but one during the week is always nice for those of us who chose to go with the dish…

Cole reminds me of a young Mike Mussina when he pitched for Baltimore. Same kind of outlook and mentality.

I think Howard will come around. As you said, he’s a bit anxious at the plate.

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