Thursday, August 31, 2006

We Believe

Cole Hamels is one intense guy.

The young left-hander has taken to talking to himself on the mound lately. No, he isn’t the second coming of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. When Cole speaks to himself the language appears to be x-rated. Take, for instance, the at bat by his opposite number, Ramon Ortiz, leading off the third inning. Hamels started him off with three straight balls. Keep in mind, we are not talking about Carlos Zambrano here. Hamels came right back at Ortiz and struck him out. Afterwards, he walked off the mound and could be seen clearly delivering himself a lecture. I’m no lip-reader but he appeared to be saying “What the #@&!! are you doing here!!!????”

Hamels always works fast. He doesn’t come off as impatient, like Brett Myers can be; rather, he has a plan, knows what he wants to do on the next pitch, and sees no point in wasting time throwing it. I am surprised batters haven’t started stepping out more on him. Heck, I’m surprised his own catcher doesn’t step out on him occasionally.

For the night Hamels line read: 8 innings, 1 earned run, 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Afterwards, he told reporters “I would have been happier if I hadn't given up a 500-foot home run [to Alfonso Soriano].” The kid goes deep into the game, yields a lone run but isn’t entirely satisfied with his effort. Overall, however, he doesn’t lack confidence.

"I definitely feel like I'm part of the major leagues. I feel like I'm here to stay, and there's no doubt in my mind I can be a top-of-the-line pitcher."

We believe you, Cole.


Tom G said...

You stole the thoughts right out of my head. I have to pinch myself when it comes to Hamels, Howard, and Utley...are they real?!?!

Tom Goodman said...

Real and all ours. What a season. I'd given up hope and, worse, found them so boring to watch. Now, I'm on the edge of my seat, literally!!

With Jimmy and Shane at the top of the order the Phils are putting enormous pressure on opponents right from the get go. Those guys can make things happen. Even with Chase really struggling, the Phils are producing. Does anyone expect Ryan NOT to homer these days??

Hamels is a once-in-a-generation pitcher for this organization. The best part? He didn't come up and go 15 - 2 only to fall back to earth. He has visited terra firma more than once during his rookie season and is that much better for it.