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