Cole Hamels Needs to be Better

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Magic Number: FOUR

Despite losing to the Braves last night and watching Cole Hamels once again come up short of the billing of an ace, I still feel good about the Philies. They were due for a loss, and they lost last night 3-2.

Ryan Howard hit a triple which was cool and Chase Utley hit a double for his 40th of the year. Pat Burrell left the bases loaded though and and was out on a nice foul ball catch by Braves third baseman Martin Prado. Casey Kotchman seems to have Cole Hamels figured out as he hit his third homerun of the year off of Hamels. That was third of the year after he hit one in the last series in Atlanta and one with the Angels earlier this year. He has 14 on the year.

If the Phillies are going to do anything in the post season then Cole Hamels will have to better. It's tough being upset about a game in which he allowed three runs, but for him to be a superstar pitcher he needs to be stepping up big in these kind of games. He can be an outstanding pitcher but in situations like last night he needs to be automatic. Too many times early in the game he was struggling to get outs. He had thrown a lot of pitchers early and given up a run in the first inning. While the Phillies offense didn't help him out (they should be able to score more than 3 runs in a game in that ball park) it was Hamels who was letting Braves on base, and it was Hamels' throw to third that whizzed by Pedro Feliz, who was running to cover third.

Honestly last night's game isn't just on Hamels. I would like to see more of Hamels stepping up but the offense failed last night. I might sound really down but I am not. I still feel confident that the Phillies will clinch this NL East and be playing the Dodgers next week in the NLDS. This loss hurt but is by no means a heart breaker.

Meanwhile in Flushing, New York...

The Mets got to do their victory dance last night. As predicted, Johann Santana picked up the key win for the Mets, and their bullpen didn't blow the ninth inning. The big blow was Jose Reyes' bases clearing triple that put the Mets up 6-2.

Good job Mets. You won. You got to dance. And boy did you need that one...

...because the Brewers won their game against the Pirates in dramatic fashion. Prince Fielder hit a walk off two run homerun to help the Brewers keep pace with the Mets. The Mets still hold on to a one game lead on the Brewers.

As for the National League playoff picture, and the NL East standings...

Tonight's game is a must win for the Phillies as they have off on Thursday while the Mets play one more against the Cubs. Of course, the Cubs could help out by winning tonight but it is more fun to take care of your own business at home. Go Phills!

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