Is Hamels a Top-3 Cy Young Candidate? – Phillies Nation

Is Hamels a Top-3 Cy Young Candidate?

Here are some stats for you to chew on:

-Cole Hamels is 12-10 this season, with a 2.93 ERA, a new low. He ranks 11th in the NL in ERA, 9th in WHIP, 3rd in strikeouts, 6th in K/9, and 13th in BAA, and 8th in innings pitched.

-Since May 1, just after a less-than-stellar opening month, Hamels has a 2.51 ERA. If you toss away his one inning start against the Braves in which he gave up three runs before being pulled due to the weather, his ERA drops to 2.36 since May 1.

-After the all-star break, Hamels ERA is 1.89 with a batting average against of .200

-He’s allowed just two earned runs this month, one against the Braves on Monday night and one against Florida the previous week.

All of these statistics put him squarely in the race for a shot at the Cy Young Award in the National League. Right now, the clear favorite is Roy Halladay. He’s head an shoulders above the rest, but a case can be made for Cole Hamels to slide into the top three of the NL.

Rob Neyer of is a well-respected stat head who ranked R.A. Dickey (!) and an injured Josh Johnson ahead of Cole Hamels in his top five. No love for the lefty on that list, although he does have Roy Halladay at number one.

Has Hamels done enough to jump into the actual top three in the Cy Young voting? It’s obvious that his low win total will hurt him, even though it’s a rather meaningless stat for him. Five times this season Hamels has gone seven or more innings and given up three earned runs or less and been tagged with the loss. So, give Cole roughly 15 wins at this point, which would put him in the top six. Still not enough?

In all honesty, the first three slots seem to be reserved for Halladay, Jimenez, and Wainwright. But consider this: Jimenez has an ERA just digits lower than Cole’s. And while Jimenez has given up 23 less hits on the season, he’s walked 25 more than Hamels. The Phillies lefty has also struck out 207 on the year to Jimenez’s 192.

Not to dismiss Josh Johnson, as he had a remarkable season for Florida, however, he’s going to fall well short in the innings category. Therefore, he’ll also end up losing the peripheral stats battle.

What say you? Does Hamels deserve a spot amongst the three best pitchers in the National League this season? At the very least, a top five landing spot is well within reach.



  1. Bacardipr05

    September 22, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I think he should be mention at the very least. Other than the 1st month and I believe maybe 2 games in between he has been more than fantastic. If not for that dry spell when he was getting no run support he could be easily an 18 game winner by now. If anything his slow start might be enough of a hamper to keep him from winning.

  2. Pingback: Is Hamels a Top-3 Cy Young Candidate? « Acrylic Sports

  3. Tek

    September 22, 2010 at 11:34 am


    Rob Neyer is on record as saying he hates the Phils due to them defeating his beloved Royals in the 80 World Series. He probably picked the Braves, Mets or Marlins to win the division this year. Its almost comical how he refuses to give the Fightin’s any credit whatsoever. This guy is a journalist right?

  4. The Original Chuck P

    September 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Top 5, for sure… if he had a few more wins, he would be up there without question. It’s a moot point since Halladay/Wainwright have sort or distanced themselves from everyone else (I don’t think Jimenez is in the running).

  5. Groty

    September 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I was actually going to post something about Cy Young discussions. It’s time to start discussing.

  6. Lewisauce

    September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Who cares. Just win the World Series.

  7. Lefty

    September 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Hamels’ win-loss numbers are a shame, the record is clearly not his fault. But unfortunately it’s problematic to make a case that he should be a top three candidate.

    I can say without reservation that Cole is and has been our most reliable pitcher the second half of the season. And considering our staff, that’s saying a lot.

    What is more important to me is that hopefully the entire country will get to see how great he is in the postseason. Only two pitchers have ever won two WS MVP awards- Bob Gibson, and Sandy Koufax. If the baseball gods give us a chance to play in the WS again, Cole has a legitimate shot at joining them.

  8. branderson

    September 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Waino and Johnson should rightfully accompany the top 3 with Halladay. Their significantly better ERAS and WHIPS are simple stats enough to put them higher than Hamels. I still think JImenez is more deserving than Cole, as well.
    He is a 5 or 6 type guy (see Matt Latos). Interesting you didn’t mention Oswalt whose numbers are pretty similar to Hamels

  9. Don M

    September 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    We should trade Cole Hamels …. release Raul Ibanez and let Domonic Brown play everday… and fire Amaro .. for a team that was FINISHED in July, the Phillies sure are awesome when it matters most!

    Thank god the Front Office never listens to most of our fans!

  10. Gaze_NJ

    September 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Top 5-7 is more realistic. You’re looking at Halladay, Wainwright, Jimenez as the top 3 based purely on their gaudy amount of wins with very solid peripherals. Then Johnson despite his low innings total. Then you can put the following guys in any order you want: Hamels, Oswalt, Hudson, Latos, Myers, Cain, Dickey. The problem is, that 1-4 remain head and shoulders above the other candidates.

  11. bfo_33

    September 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    If I had to win a game right now, Cole would be the guy I’d put on the mound for the NL. He seems to be getting better every outing. Unfortunately for Cole (and Roy Oswalt), the Cy Young is for the whole season, and the voters let win total cloud their judgement.

    For the season, Halladay, Wainwright, Jimenez are the upper echelon. You can argue any of the 3 and be right. The next tier down

    Myers (he’s been a rock this year, every start has been a quality start)
    Johnson (a little short on innings, or he’d be in the top tier)
    Again, pick an order, and you’ll be right/wrong.

    Latos, Garcia, and Dickey should be in that next tier, but don’t have the innings to compare.

    Amazing that there are 3 of the top 10 starters on the Phils.

  12. bfo_33

    September 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Oops, I spelled a Met’s pitcher’s name – comment in moderation. Not sure if it will come through. If it doesn’t, basically, if I needed a pitcher right now for a game, it’d be Cole. The Cy Young is for the whole season, so the top 3 are Doc, Jimenez, and Wainwright. Cole heads the 2nd tier, with Myers, Hudson, Oswalt, and Johnson. D1ckey just below, doesn’t have the innings.

  13. Bart Shart

    September 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I agree with Lefty. He having a great year but a mediocre win-loss record does not put him among the elite. Cole has changed my mind as I admit I was not thrilled with him earlier in the year. But I am now. He has had some bad luck with winning ballgames due to poor run support.

  14. Ryan H.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    halladay is pretty much a lock by this point. something I called in spring training.

  15. Andrew from waldorf

    September 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    If he was even 15-7 hes in there. And he should be.

    There is always next year. How about we get the top 3 in 2011?

    The team seemed to mess around till aug-sept this year.
    Maybe just for fun they will play all year next year. That would be special. Three 20 game winners and 115 wins. Just saying 🙂

  16. JeffK

    September 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    How ’bout Hamels (and Oswalt for that matter) having 7 “Tough Losses” (Bill James stat for Quality Starts but took a loss anyway)? Give Cole 3 or 4 of those, and he’s a 15-16 game winner. Plus, it’s tough to quantify some of his intangibles that have improved this year – not the least of which being the addition of a few MPH on his heater.

    I’d give him all 7 of the Tough Losses, but Lidge likely would’ve served up a meatball or two during one of them (I kid, I kid … sort of)


    September 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm


  18. Lefty

    September 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    To Andrew’s point of the team playing well the whole year next year, they better not mess around in 2011.

    The schedule is not favorable at all in August, and September 2011. Better get a jump early. Luckily, maybe we got our “injury bug year” out of the way without any discernable damage. (unlike the Muts who use the same lame excuse over and over)

    Aug- long nine game west coast swing.
    Sept.- We have 17 road games, only 10 home, and not many creampuffs.

  19. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Hanson should pitch well tonight. We’ve always hit Oswalt, so I predict a win.

  20. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I bet Oswalt is picking his nails about now just thinking about the Braves. He knows we’ve owned his little butt over the years.

  21. Kate

    September 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    The Phillies offense also knows the Braves can (yet not necessarily will) hit Oswalt. That’s why they didn’t blow thos squaws out of the water last night.

    Being said, I’m seeing a really great future shaping up for the NL East. Ruben Amaro is smart enough and cares enough to keep the Phillies in playoff contention for years to come and I’m liking what a lot of these young Braves players can do (except when they do it to us, of course). The Nats have some great pieces and once they put them together, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The loss of Strasburg is a blow, but that kid’ll be back eventually.

    It’s going to be an exciting time to be invested in the NL East.

  22. bfo_33

    September 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Giving the Braves way too much credit Bravoman. Besides checking some film, I don’t think Oswalt cares if he is pitching against the 27 Yanks. Good luck in the wild card chase, hopefully the Braves can figure out how to stop giving games away.

  23. Chuck

    September 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    A Top 5 is a nice spot for sure. Especially after last season. And make no mistake…Cole Hamels WILL win AT LEAST one Cy Young before he’s done playing.

    I think unless Ubaldo goes out tonight and pitches out of his mind (complete game shutout and 10+ Ks) ….this award goes to Doc.

  24. Andrew from waldorf

    September 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Where is all this young braves talent?
    Their first baseman Derek Lee? the closer who is retiring?
    Lawrence Injury?
    Or the 1 out fielder? and the 1 pitcher hanson?

    They wont be a threat as long as Mccann is catching. If he moves to first or LF I will take them seriously.

    The Braves got very lucky and caught a crap load of breaks. Which lead them to a 7 game lead july 27th. Its already all gone and then some.
    I guess next year they are the second best team in the division again but talent wise they are about .500.

    The Nats have been doing things well but the Strasburg thing is huge. He will have to change his delivery or he will not ever be healthy. That will cause him loss of velocity. Will be interesting in seeing what he does. i do actually see them as more of a long term threat than the Braves.

    The Mets are interesting because they will finally fire Manuel and more importantly for them Omar Minaya this year. They will have to purge themselves of a lot of dead weight like Beltran and probably Reyes. Johan will never be the same and Bay is over paid. But if they got a good GM and coach with their salary structure could turn around. But it will take years and years. They have dug themselves a big hole. Yes players like K fraud who set the all time record for saves you dont want on your team. You want winners and K rod Beltran and Reyes wont ever be winners.

  25. Andrew from waldorf

    September 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    The Marlins may well be the second best team but I keep waiting.
    and I dont like thier ownership and how they run things.
    I also think Hanley has clubhouse issues.
    Its hard to win when no one comes to your games.
    Its the Phillies division in the near future even as they age. Just put in some stop gaps.

  26. Chuck

    September 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Phillies win the division NEXT year….with or without Jayson Werth.

    Take it to the bank…

  27. jeff of Nova

    September 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Bravoman…… you should basically SHUT THE F UP and not make a prediction on this site!! You have 0 leg to stand on, your team has shown that it is not on the same level as these Phillies!

    We have also shown that injuries are the reason the Braves have enjoyed 1st place most of the season. I give credit to the Braves they have had a good season, but lack of depth and talent is hurting you guys.

    I am not guarenteeing that the Phils win, but to say that you all hit Oswalt when he was in Houston means nothing he has been lights out here.

    This is the last time I am going to recognize you on this site as you are an idiot and have no knowledge of baseball. You try to start Sh&T all the time, we have owned the NL in Sept. There are some Braves fans that have solid additions to conversations you are not 1 of them.

    Whether the Phillies win tonight or not they pretty much would have to win out to make a run at the NL CHAMPS!

    I think I am in Andrew’s corner in thinking the Cox will end his career without another post season or any kid of Championship.

  28. Bob D.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Can’t really agree that Hamels is top 3, let alone top 5. I see it in this order:
    Doc, Wainwright, Jimenez
    with the next group real close together:
    Hudson, Latos, Garcia, Meyers, Hamels, Oswalt, Kershaw and Johnson all in some order.

  29. bfo_33

    September 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t agree with Bravoman who states the Braves threw this series away, and I also don’t agree that the Braves caught a lot of breaks. They have good starting pitching, just enough hitting, and they are what their record states they are – a solid team. Next year, they’ll be a little worse, since they won’t go all in to win it for Bobby, but they’ll still have above average starters, Prado and Heyward will eb a year more experienced, will be in the wild card chase.

    The Nats have no starting pitching, will lose 90+ games again next year. Look at the NL playoff contenders – while they Reds are a slugging team, they have consistent pitching, all the others are very good pitching teams.

    The Mets are going to be blown up, unrecognizable. They’ll take pennies on the dollar for Bay (he doesn’t fit the park), Beltran, and maybe even Reyes and Wright. They’ll be an AAA team as they transition to pitching/speed – playing in PetCo east, it’s their only chance (if they hire a GM with any sense).

    The Marlins have a ton of talent, but don’t know how to win. Unless they get real clubhouse leader down there, they’ll continue to be dangerous when they want to play, but ultimately inconsistent.

    The season will be over before the Phils hit the tough part of the schedule.

    It’s going to look an awful lot like this year, except the Mets and Nats will be even worse.

  30. Manny

    September 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    People were hoping for 2008 Cole… and they got an even better version!

  31. jt

    September 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    man i just hope oswalt can overcome his struggles against the braves
    (0-3 era over 7.00) and sweep them braves…hanson pitching the biggest game of his career tonight while oswalt has pitched in bigger games before…hopefully hanson craps his pants and we send him to an early shower and break out the broom………

  32. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I get a real kick out of Phillies players (Rollins) and the Philly writers throwing around the word “dynasty”. Give me a freakin break! Winning 14 straight division titles is something that will never be touched again in any sport. What exactly have “these Phillies” done that will never be duplicated? I’ll be waiting for an answer because it’s dang near halarious to even think this Phillies team is anything close to a “dynasty”. You’ve got a loooooooong way to go before most people forget the Phillies as being the first pro sports franchise to reach the 10,000 loss mark. Something to be proud of.

    John Kruk don’t count because fat boy is just being a silly homer. He eats 8 meals a day and all that food goes to his fat head.

  33. Frederick

    September 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    An interloper by the name of BravoMan
    Calls himself an honest sports fan,
    But all his posts
    Are childish boasts,
    So we send them straight to the garbage can!

  34. Andrew from waldorf

    September 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I guess I am higher on the Nats future than most.
    Think they have been doing things the right way. Strasburg really is a devastator though and I agree are a second tier team next year.
    But could be a suprise also in the near future.

    I think Wright its the only met who is safe and doesnt go. Good luck unloading Bay unless they are gonna pay half his salary.

  35. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Oswalt is just feeding off edrenaline. He’ll come back to earth soon enough and be the average ol’ pitcher before long. It’s not rocket science…. the guy’s career was fading and all the sudden he’s an “ace”? No way. Something is fishy about all that and I can’t see him continuing to pitch over his head at this point in his career.

  36. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Oswalt wanted to go to the Braves more than any other team this summer. Us or the Cards. I’m so glad we didn’t go after him because, while he’s pitching great now, the real Roy Oswalt will eventually stand up.

  37. jeff

    September 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Wins and lose records mean nothing in baseball anymore. do not go by coles

  38. jeff

    September 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    bravomoron go away. oswalt would not play for your crappy team. he wants to be with a winner. dont ever say he will go back to his average self. he has never been average. just with a horrible team. great post season record with houston and a hall of fame pitcher.

  39. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    jeff, Hall of Fame? Ok. Why, because he’s pitching for the Phillies now he’s a HOF pitcher? Let me assume all you on here were die hard Phillies fans before, lets say, 2007? Right? I mean surely you guys wouldn’t just jump on the bandwagon now? Not Philly folks.

  40. BravoMan

    September 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Crappy, huh? You guys weren’t saying that from May to earlier this month. Except for that psychic Andrew…. he just knew all along. He is a baseball expert like John Kruk.

  41. Chuck

    September 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    And the Braves were a “dynasty” because of 14 division titles??

    BravoMan….how many of those teams even MADE IT to the World Series…let alone winning the one they did??

    Braves were a good team back then…with great pitching….but certainly no dynasty.

    I always thought of a dynasty as a team that makes it to the Big Show at least 3 years in a row….winning at least one WS in that time and probably 2.

  42. Bob in Bucks

    September 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Back to the original post. My answer is a clear no. Hamels had a poor start, you can’t throw that away because you want to. If you do then you can throw away a bad month from Jimenez, etc.

    I agree Hamels is tops right now but the award is for the year. You need wins which he does not have and consistency. Great pitcher, no Cy Young this year.


    September 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm



    September 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    To my fellow philly fans-I see they have changed the rotation again.So now kk will pitch vs mutts,i guess it makes much more sense………

  45. Dave

    September 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Lol, yeah the 90s Braves were a real dynasty. Just like the 90s Bills. 4(?) super bowl losses within the same decade is a feat that will never be touched again in any sport.

    And it’s exciting to hear that you are a mind reader. Glad you somehow knew that Oswalt was actually dying to go to Atlanta.

  46. Chuck

    September 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    JAY…maybe they’re taking lessons on flip-flopping from Andy Reid…

  47. Chuck

    September 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    When you think of dynasties you think of the Yankees (many times), Dodgers, The Big Red Machine, Oakland A’s, The Orioles of the late 60’s / early 70’s, others….

    The Braves of the 90s were good…not a dynasty.

    Phillies make it to the Series this year and you have to at least put them in the conversation…

  48. erik

    September 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    A few facts to debunk the braves supposed dynasty
    1. Braves made 5 WS appearances and lost 4(91,92,96,99) and won 1(95)
    2. During that span wild card teams from the NL East to make the World Series included (93phils, 00 mets, 97 and 03 marlins)
    3. Two of those wild card teams won the WS(both marlins teams)

    In conclusion, 4 of those 14 years the braves lost in the post season to a team they won a supposed championship over in the regular season. Choke? Not to mention, the “inferior” wild card teams from the nl east won twice as many championships as the braves did. Sorry BravoMan you are toast. Game Set Match. GO Phils. Sweeeeeeep!

  49. Brian Sr. of CO

    September 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    And moron keeps taunting. I would have to laugh my @$$ of if the Tomahacks miss the playoffs completely. I hope BravoMan is there in the 2nd of October when I go watch the Phillies play the braves in Atlanta. As for the original intent of this post. Hamels as top 3, hmm, if he pitched the way he has in his last 10 starts, he would be #1 or #1, but keeping the first month in mind, I would say top 5. Either way, RA Dickey top 5? Huh? WTF? He has had a pretty decent season, but WTF. Think about it. Halladay, Wainright, Jimenez, Johnson, Hamels, even Hudson and Myers, but Dickey? Top 1 maybe, but sure as hell NOT top 5!

  50. Kate

    September 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I’d call those Braves a former DIVISION dynasty, but not beyond that.

  51. jeff of Nova

    September 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Wow a Division Dynasty?
    and in that time
    Braves 1 WS
    Expos/Nats 0
    Phils 0
    Mets 0
    Marlins 2

    I would say the Marlins accomplished more than the Braves.
    Phillies soon to be 4th NL east 3rd WS in 3 years 2nd WFC!!!!

    I would rather have 3 in a row WS 2 wins! That is a dynasty

    I have been a Philly fan since birth…. and I am sure many here have been as well.

    Bravoretardo….. Philly fans have never been known as bandwagoners ever. they are the same disgruntled group that routed for this team during the years after the Von Hayes trade or when Pat Combs was supposed to be our savior. Depending how old even the miserable 60’s….. I always welcome those who want to come to support the Phils even if they are bandwagoners more the merrier.

    All the bandwagoners are still more than all the Braves fans that show up at games.

  52. jeff of Nova

    September 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Oh it is 11 East titles not 14 91,92,93 were when they were in the west. 93 they went to the NLCS and lost to the PHILLIES!!!

  53. Brian Sr. of CO

    September 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Im not sure what way is a better way to sweep the Braves. Is it better to have won in the 8th and 9th inning to take the 2nd and 3rd game or is it better to just flat pound them? LOL. I just remember bravoidiot spurting out stupidity about “The braves are a better team and we will find that out in Philly”, We have a better clutch team after the 7th inning”, we have a MUCH better bullpen”, if we can get to the bullpen, the Phillies will lose easily. Can someone refresh my memory of what inning the Phillies scored in the 2nd and 3rd innings? Just curious. LOL

  54. Brian Sr. of CO

    September 22, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I meant 2nd and 3rd GAMES, not innings. Sorry, a little drained from studying.

  55. adam

    September 23, 2010 at 12:32 am

    The way I see it there are 5 tiers of pitchers for anyone to consider for an NL CY vote.
    Top tier: Halladay and Wainwright. Clearly the best 2 in the NL since
    2nd tier: Jimenez tailed off. He can work his way back into the top tier, though with a strong September.
    3rd tier: Hamels, Hudson, Oswalt were all pretty fantastic for most of the season. Hudson is struggling a little now, and could potentially drop if he and the Braves tank after getting swept. Hamels struggled earlier and has made up for it this side of the ASB. Oswalt… 1.05 WHIP, 2.19 BAA and doing it down the stretch.
    4th tier: Some guys deserve some love, but just didn’t log enough innings, like Josh Johnson and Mat Latos.
    5th tier of name guys who had good to average years who will probably garner some votes, like Lincecum, Santana, Carpenter?

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