It may seem like a broken record, but tonight is the kind of game Cole Hamels was born to pitch.
“I think throughout my career or my lifetime, which hasn’t been as much or as long as Jamie (Moyer) … you know, going out there in the big game you want to be that guy that can dictate it.
“And I think if you have the mind-set and the talent to do so, then you should be able to go out there and have success. And I think that’s something I have the confidence that I can go out there and do. I know I have the talent to do it. It’s just a matter of time and getting the opportunity to do it.”
Talent plus mind-set usually means good things.
By throwing tonight, Hamels is on five-days rest.
“I think pitching every five days is a good assessment of what I can do and what I’m capable of doing. And I can be at my best. I don’t think they want to risk it with me trying to go an extra day early for one more win, because it takes four. And if it causes me to have some extra soreness, I know the next time around I might not be as successful.”
Sure Hamels wouldn’t mind clinching at home, but he just wants to get it done.
“It would be more exciting to clinch at home in front of the home crowd, but anytime you can do it sooner, I think makes it a little bit easier on your sense of worry or excitement.”
Point is, Hamels is projecting a good bit of calm in preparation for tonight. Hopefully, in spacious Dodger Stadium with one good start under his belt, he can practice that calm and pitch a solid game. When Charlie Manuel kept Hamels under a five- or four-days rest schedule all season, he was prepping for this game. Now is the time to ride the horse. The team got them to this point — now the ace has to make the push.