Like nearly everyone else, I have sung the praises the past few months of a far more mature Cole Hamels the young man and of his development into one of the league's if not game's premier pitchers. Yet, every now and then I catch myself wishing and hoping there won't be any relapses. I don't know why these doubts creep in. Perhaps they recur because his emotional transformation happened so suddenly; after all, a year is nothing when speaking about maturity.
But enough with the doubt, already! Hamels is the real deal. Last night when he got peeved when a batter took too long getting back in the box, he walked around the back of the mound, collected himself, and blew him away! Last night he threw a lot of pitches in his 6.2 innings, 127 of them in fact, but he never really labored unless, of course, one considers the humidity of lovely Miami. There were the usual astonishing number of foul balls hit off of him but there were also a ton of swinging strikes among his 13 punch outs.
The Phils offense wasn't impressive, but it scored two runs, sufficient for the victory. Coupled with the Braves further deterioration, the Phils have opened a two game lead in the Division.