Reversal of fortune
Hamels wants redemption the second time around in playoffs
PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels enjoyed a much deserved rest on Sunday after 227 1/3 regular-season innings.The vacation ends on Wednesday, when the ace left-hander starts Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Brewers at 3 p.m. ET on TBS.
"I'm fine with not pitching [Sunday], because Game 1 is more important," Hamels said.Hamels, who led the Phillies in innings and starter ERA (3.09) this season, will be making his second Game 1 start. Cooler temperatures may be beneficial. Pitching on an unseasonably hot 81-degree afternoon last Oct. 3, Hamels wore a long-sleeved red T-shirt under his jersey. With the goal of keeping his pitching arm warm, the sleeves created a perspiration problem. Moist hands affected the grip of his changeup and breaking ball, and the Rockies took control, plating three runs during a 40-pitch inning. Hamels removed the long sleeves after the frame, but it was too late in a 4-2 loss. Recovering from that outing, Hamels turned in his most consistent season in 2008, and he stayed off the disabled list for the first time in his career. Hamels started and lost Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS against the Rockies, the Phillies' first postseason appearance since 1993. He lasted 6 2/3 innings and surrendered three earned runs. The southpaw has allowed five or more earned runs just three times this season and none since May 31. After Hamels, the Phillies could go with Brett Myers and Jamie Moyer for Games 2 and 3, respectively. Joe Blanton would pitch Game 4 and Hamels in Game 5, if necessary.
Hamels, by the numbers
|Here is how Phillies Game 1 starter Cole Hamels has fared at home, on the road, against the Brewers and in the postseason:|
|Home, 2008: 7-7, 2.99 ERA, 17 starts|
|Road, 2008: 7-3, 3.19 ERA, 16 starts|
|vs. Brewers, 2008: 1-1, 4.72 ERA, two starts|
|vs. Brewers, career: 2-1, 4.41 ERA, five starts|
|Postseason, career: 0-1, 4.05 ERA in one NLDS start|
|Did You Know? Hamels is married to former "Survivor contestant" Heidi Strobel.|
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.