Man Crush for Cole Hamels

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Dear Cole Hamels,

I admit that I was expecting more out of you earlier. I know that you were a leader in innings pitched in the National League this year and I know you had a ton of strikeouts. Still though I wanted more from you. I expected you to be far superior rather than just really good. Perhaps you would admit that there were a number of times this year when you got in some trouble with base runners and at times your struggles came at the worst possible times for the Phillies. When the Phillies had some momentum going for them and needed another key win to keep things rolling you would struggle. You would give up some key runs early. You would have the "one bad inning" issue and your offense never backed you up. Maybe you didn't deserve as many losses and no decisions that you received this year, but I expected you to not get into that kind of trouble. I hope you understand that I expect you to win some Cy Young awards in your career. That is how good I think you are and will be. Nobody will be more proud for you than me. Well, maybe your family and close friends will be. And your former coaches. And your teammates, but now we're getting nit picky.

What I am trying to say Cole is that yesterday, in game one of the NLDS against the Brewers, I think I rekindled my man crush on you. I am confident in telling you that I was ecstatic when you got through the first four innings without allowing a hit. That is what I expected in the series opener from our ace. Aces of a pitching staff take the mound in game one, forget about their outing from 2007, and set the tone early. It took five innings for the Brewers to get a hit off of you and you ended the day with nine strikeouts and zero runs allowed in eight innings. Heck, you even scored for yourself after you bunted and the Brewers forgot how to field a bunt!

But Cole one question remains. Why? Why didn't you at least start the ninth inning? Sure, I have the utmost confidence in Brad Lidge to seal the deal but I wanted to see you finish the game off. I know that if you had pitched that final frame the Phillies would have won 3-0. I guess we shouldn't worry too much about that though. It looks to me as though you will be able to rest up for the next series because I don't think you will need to pitch again in this series, unless you happen to go in game four.

I just want to say thank you Cole. Please forgive me for having my slightest of doubts about your ability to shut down the opposition in a key game.


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