If we’re counting the postseason, here’s what Cole Hamels has done in 2008:
Pretty good, eh?
Sam Donellon paints Cole Hamels as cool-hand Cole. He’s the tone setter. To wit, Mr. Cole:
“Game one, I think, sets the table and the tone for what the series is going to be like.”
Cool-hand Cole hasn’t strayed from his position much this season. He’s good, he knows it, and he’ll beat you down easy. He won’t bark, he won’t growl, he’ll just slide the fastball by you, hurt you with the suave changeup, throw in the debilitating curve.
Hamels hushed the Brewers in game one of the NLDS, and though he gave up two early runs, eased the Dodgers into the loss column in game one of the NLCS. Tonight he’ll face a hungry, excited Rays lineup, a bunch of menacing, drooling little guys ready to pounce in the global limelight. The key for Cole, who hasn’t been here either, is to play it cool. Said Rich Dubee:
“He’s had the mindset of not panicking. Controlling innings, controlling games, getting deep into games and giving us a chance to win.”
Absolutely. Go deep, pitch your game. Notice how these Phillies just play their game? Cole is the one who sets that up. He’ll have a tall order tonight, but no doubt he’ll look to smooth his way through without much of a hiccup.
EDIT: My headline was written before I saw this quote from JC Romero about Hamels: Have you seen that cat? He has no emotions. He’s like a quiet assassin.” Fantastic.