Lost in the busy NFL Sunday (to everyone except Phillies and Reds fans) was how well Cole Hamels pitched for the Phillies giving them the NLDS sweep. The 26-year-old southpaw was sensational throwing a complete game shutout against the National League’s most potent offense during the regular season. Because of the team’s additions of Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, Hamels has slipped into the number three starter role and seems to be more of the forgotten man on the staff. Not anymore.
Hamels was in top form retiring the Reds on nine strikeouts, nine groundouts, and nine fly outs in a 2-0 win. He allowed just five hits throwing 119 pitches, 82 of which were strikes. Even when it appeared as if he might get into trouble late in the game, Hamels got the ground ball double-play when it was needed.
As hard as I was on Cole Hamels last year — he self-admittedly came into the season unprepared — it can’t be forgotten how good he can be and how clutch he was in 2008. When they won the World Series, Colbert was simply sensational going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts, all wins by the Phillies. There’s a reason his success got to his head that off-season, and it’s because he garnered fame for stepping up and pitching like a stud.
Phillies fans are enthralled by the H20 combination on the pitching staff — Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt — that makes them the World Series favorite. We’ve already seen Hamels pitch the team to a title in 2008, and now they also have Roy Halladay who threw a no-hitter in his post-season debut. If Hamels continues to show what he did Sunday night and pitches back to 2008 form, this team will be awfully difficult to beat. He may very well pitch them to their second World Series title in three years.
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