Friday, September 18, 2009

Phillies Hamels: Wake Me Up When September Comes


Cole Hamels has had a history for saving his best pitching for the end of the season. Throughout his 4-year major league career, he has recorded his lowest ERA in September and we all know how he performed last October. This year has been no different, except he has punctuated this trend with an exclamation point.

Last night, Hamels shut down the Nationals, holding them to six base runners and one run over 8 innings. He was dominant for much of the game, retiring the first 15 hitters and striking out 10 for the game.

This dropped his ERA for the month of August to 1.82 after lugging a 4.52 mark into the month. For good measure, Hamels actually got a jump on September by shutting out the Pirates over 8 innings in his last outing in August. Since then, his ERA is a sparkling 1.43 and he has struck out more than a batter per inning.

Although it has been a frustrating season for Hamels, especially coming after his breakout year-end performance last season, his timing in re-gaining his form is impeccable. The Phillies will need both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to be on their game as they head into the post season. This is particularly true if they end up facing teams such as the Cardinals or Giants who will lead with two stellar starting pitchers of their own. Now, if we could only get Brad Lidge to add Green Day's recording "Wake Up When September Ends" to his iPod.

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