'Vintage Hamels' Makes A Big-Game Pitcher – Phillies Nation

'Vintage Hamels' Makes A Big-Game Pitcher

Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

That’s the day Cole Hamels became a big-game pitcher. Sure, he had a blistering start Sept. 28, 2007 against the Nationals, but that could’ve been an aberration. Most of us needed additional proof. And boy, did the kid deliver.

“That’s vintage Cole,” said Jamie Moyer. “The way he threw, the way he acted, the way he carried himself on the mound — you just see him maturing before you and becoming more of a pitcher. He’s creating his own path.”

Vintage Cole? The kid is 24. That Moyer said it’s “vintage Cole” shows you how unreal he is.

The comparison between Hamels and Moyer is there, too. Hamels mixed up his pitches very well Wednesday. He located his fastball across the low part of the strike zone, countered that with his devastating changeup, then dropped in his curveball periodically. Best part was he rarely worked deep into counts — hitters had to swing at his stuff because he was in or near the strike zone all game. This was Hamels’ gameplan against Milwaukee:

“They’re a tremendous hitting team and they’re very aggressive, so I just tried to keep them off balance as much as I could and go as deep into the game as I possibly could.”

Keeping them off balance is exactly the way Moyer would pitch Milwaukee. Beating them is not about dialing up fastballs, but moving pitches around and changing speeds throughout. These guys look for belt-high fastballs; the point is to keep them thinking anything can be a belt-high fastball. Hamels did that, but because he’s Hamels — and not Moyer — he was dominant, not just effective. Because he can make batters miss, he brought the spotlight to him once again. I bet he keeps doing it.



  1. Rob Cowie

    October 2, 2008 at 1:04 am

    So how is Myers, a power pitcher, going to keep this team off balance?

  2. Phil

    October 2, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Myers can keep them off balance with the curveball. Those right handed hitters will have trouble hitting it. If his curveball is on the Brewers will be dumb founded, much like they were a couple of weeks ago when he faced them.

    Hamels literally threw one of the best post season games I’ve ever seen. It was very Josh Beckett esque. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was watching.

  3. Mark

    October 2, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Great piece on Hamels, and it sounds like Phil’s got a point, re: Myers. If he’s on, and if the offense shows more life than on Wednesday — we’re in Milwaukee on Saturday with Moyer and his slow, slower and slowest. And then… Well, I don’t want to say what I’m thinking for fear of queering it.

  4. Jim

    October 2, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I was at that game Sept 28, 2007. It was a thing of beauty. But I saw the entire game last night on television, and I hvae to tell you, hamels was FAR more dominant today than he was on that fateful day vs the Nationals.

    For one thing, he was playing the weak hitting nationals instead of the hardhitting breweres. And, he loaded the bases twice in that game, but yesterday, no brewer made it past second base while he was pitching. Truly dominant.

  5. Gary B

    October 2, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Hamels was awesome! Let’s hope Myers is the guy who faced the Brew Crew a few weeks ago and not the guy who has showed up his past two starts…this would be huge to steal one from CC. I did read his postseason stats are 2-2 with a ERA north of 7.

  6. NJ

    October 2, 2008 at 7:56 am

    I’m going to take a shot at all those on here who’ve said Cole doesn’t deserve the title of ace but to those of you that have did you enjoy Cole’s coming out party?

    The last pitcher to win a play-off game for the Phillies was Curt Schilling and Cole reminds me a little of him as a guy dedicated to winning who understands what he has to be successul per-at bat, he’s not Myers who’ll rack up the K’s when he’s on so much as he’s a guy prepared to win against anyone in locates his pitches where he needs to throw them not just where he’s comfertable. Hats off to the ‘kid’.

  7. river327

    October 2, 2008 at 7:57 am

    prince fielder looked silly yesterday. for the most part, so did the rest of the brewers.

    my real question is, with all of the hype surrounding sabathia, and everyone basically anointing him the best pitcher in baseball (i know, i know…he is), would anyone really be surprised if the phillies tag him for something like 8 runs through 4 innings this evening? i sure wouldn’t.

  8. NEPA

    October 2, 2008 at 8:00 am

    8 runs in 4 innings? Yes, I’d be shocked. 3 or 4 runs over 6 or 7 innings is the best I see them doing off him.

  9. Harper

    October 2, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Tim, did you mean aberration?

  10. Rick

    October 2, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Just 10 more wins!!!! Lets go Phillies!!!!

  11. Eb

    October 2, 2008 at 9:00 am

    River and Nepa…Sabathia has pitcher 4games in a row on 3 days rest. I think he is due for a rough one. The only thing that scares me is he throws that lefty fastball/cutter that runs away from lefties, Chase and Howard still havent realized that they never touch the plate and they continue to swing at it.

    Who is closing tonight? Mad Dog??? Lidge needs a night off.

  12. Tim Malcolm

    October 2, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I certainly did, Harper. Thanks.

  13. Dennis

    October 2, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I understand Sabathia has been ‘lights out’ since he came over from the Indians. But to call him a ‘big game’ pitcher as someone did 2 post ago is a little ridiculous. Yes he is probably the main reason the Brew Crew are playing October baseball, but this guy was horrendus last year in the postseason. He was hit pretty good in all three playoff games last year, yes that was against the Red Sox and Yankees but if anyone can hit a ‘dominant’ pitcher, I would like to think it’s our Phillies….Your thoughts?

  14. Don M

    October 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I’m sure Lidge will pitch if they need him too… they’ll probably go situational-relievers if they need to, using Romero and Durbin in the 7th and 8th.. Madosn and Eyre as the matchups need.. wouldn’t it be nice to jump all over CC and not need Lidge!!!

    Boston SPANKED Sabathia around in the postseason.. 2 starts, 10.1 Innings, 17 Hits, 12 ER, 7 BB, 9 Ks.. a 10.45 ERA.

    His last two starts this year, 13 Ground-balls, 8 Fly Balls, 7 Ks vs Cubs

    5 Ground-Balls, 5 Fly- Balls, 11 Ks vs. the Pirates

    Hopefully we can get a couple of those fly balls to carry…

  15. NEPA

    October 2, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I think all that “he’s due” stuff is nonsense. I’m sure there were people that said he was due for a bad start last time he pitched. And if he dominates us tonight then they’ll probably be people saying he’s due for a bad loss if we play a Game 5. I’m not saying he’s going to pitch lights out or he’s going to get pounded. Nobody knows what he is capable of doing on short rest, but so far he has shown he can do it pretty damn well. I think we are going to need some very timely hits tonight, small ball.

  16. Richie Allen

    October 2, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I dont think the guy can pitch on 3 days rest and win forever..even CC has to lose sometime

  17. Whisky Priest

    October 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I think the key point here is to remember that CC has been worked like a rented mule recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have him on a pitch count tonight or if he gets blasted early on. If you’re the Brewers, you almost have to expect this one to go to 5 games for any chance at winning, and you can’t have your ace’s arm fall off before that rubber match.
    Either way, we need some bats to show up tonight, because I don’t think Myers is going to have an eight inning shutout too.

  18. Don M

    October 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

    CC Sabathia, in my opinion, is THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL …. but nobody is perfect, so maybe we can get a W here.. If Myers pitches like the Myers of August, we’ll see a GREAT game tonight

  19. Richie Allen

    October 2, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Im just really nervous about Myers tonight….I hope like hell he comes out pitching like those 10 or so good starts,and not like the last 2.. …but..I’m keeping my fingers crossed…
    Also if the wind isnt blowing in like last night,hey, maybe we blast a couple out

  20. ryan

    October 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    i’ve heard alot of people say this season that Hamels isn’t a “big game pitcher” and i’ve always thought they were nuts. Hamels is wired perfectly for the pressure situations. he’s so cocky and confident in himself that he wants that big stage. I remember when he first came up in the big leagues and he was talking about how he plans on winning cy young’s and throwing several no hitters in his career. he obviously loves the spotlight.

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