Hamels Is The Stopper Once AgainBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Is there any doubt who the best pitcher on the Philadelphia pitching staff is right now? Its not Roy Halladay, its not Cliff Lee, its free-agent-to-be Cole Hamels. The Phillies desperately needed a win to snap their four-game losing streak and salvage a game from the series against the Washington Nationals. They handed the ball to their ace of aces on Wednesday night, and the lefthander responded with eight scoreless innings to pave the way for his team’s victory.
“Without a doubt, he’s been big for us,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “Tonight was big for us. We needed to win a game.”
Hamels now sits at the top of the league with seven victories, and is also in the top 10 with a 2.17 ERA. He’s been nothing short of spectacular this season, and is one of the early favorites for the Cy-Young award.
The 28-year old has shown remarkable growth in his contract year, not just as a pitcher, but as a leader. Hamels has taken charge of the team in more ways than one. Whether its making a statement to create a spark for his team (like he did when he threw at Washington’s Bryce Harper), or coming up with dominating, shutdown performances to snap losing streaks, Cole is quickly becoming one of the best in the game.
“Ultimately, if we won 20 in a row I’m going out there with the same sort of emphasis as if we lost 20 in a row,” Hamels said. “Ultimately, I like to win. I don’t like to lose. I know in order to get ready for a game, I have my routine and I stick with it no matter what the circumstances are or how we’re playing.”
Just several years ago, Hamels was looked upon as a pitcher who wasn’t tough mentally, and that could easily be rattled. There would be games when he would allow himself to lose get frustrated when things went wrong, and he would lose control of the game completely. That pitcher seems to be long gone, and in his place is a mature 28-year old that is starting to realize his full potential.
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