Thoughts on Pitching in the Playoffs

10 Sep

colehamels1.jpgThere are some impressive horses in the Phillies stable.  Built for the Post-Season Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels would likely line up just like that for October.  Over the past month or so I’ve really wondered though, if it came down to it and there was going to be a one game playoff, which Phillies pitcher would I want on the mound?

For me, it wasn’t a tough choice.  I choose Cole Hamels.

In the spring I remember thinking that Cole was going to be the key to the Phillies season.  How would he take being the #2 pitcher behind Roy Halladay?  Could he bounce back after a disappointing 2009?  Would he be able to shrug off his emotions on the mound and return to form?

Well, he’s done all three.  He’s got no problem pitching behind Roy Halladay, and now Roy Oswalt, too.  Hamels admitted that “It’s fun to pitch with guys that are this good, it makes you want to be that much better.”  I think most of Philadelphia was upset that we weren’t going to have the Halladay/Lee one, two punch in our corner, but Hamels has stepped up and proven that he’s could be just as good.

Cole’s emotions on the mound are gone.  He used to get rattled easily if he wasn’t getting the calls he wanted.  He would be seen yelling to himself with disgust if he gave up a homer to an opposing batter.  That doesn’t happen anymore with him.

After 2009 Cole went back to the drawing board and put together a new plan.  He truly worked his butt off.  He upped his training time, and added a really good cutter to compliment his repertoire of pitches.  He wasn’t upset he wasn’t the staff Ace, because he knew he was going to be one of them.

The scoreless innings streak is now up to 25 innings for Hamels.  Cole left Wednesday night’s game with a 10-0 lead.  If you didn’t watch the game and only saw the final score of 10-6 you would have thought that the Marlins had gotten to Cole, but they didn’t.  Not even close.

Cole’s ERA is 1.83 in his last 12 starts, and his season ERA is down to 3.06. Pretty impressive for a guy who’s record is10-10.

The likeliness of something like a one game playoff happening isn’t so good, but it’s a possibility with how close things always seem to be in September. Plus, it’s always fun to talk about.

Come over and join the discussion on my Facebook!
I’m now part of the PhilaPhans crew.  Four for four, Since 2002. 
I also Twitter if you do that sort of thing.  

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