On the heels of Cole Hamels' spring debut yesterday in which he pitched two innings of 2-hit, 1-walk, 0-run ball against Team Canada, it's worth re-visiting just how amazing King Cole was down the stretch last year.
From August 7 to the end of the season, Cole started 10 games for the Phillies. In those 10 games, he gave up more than 2 earned runs just once. His ERA for those 10 starts was 2.42. He struck out 59 in 67 innings, giving up only 63 hits and 13 walks for a WHIP of 1.13.
And then he turned it up in the playoffs. He pitched 35 innings, giving up only 7 runs for an ERA of 1.80. He struck out 30, giving up 23 hits and 9 walks for a WHIP of 0.91. And he won four of his five starts, with his fifth win possibly denied him thanks to Bud Selig's idiocy in continuing Game Five past the fifth inning.
If the Phillies are going to think about repeating this year, they need this Cole Hamels to show up for them. They have too many question marks in the rotation -- Myers' head, Moyer's age, Blanton's ability, whoever the fifth starter is -- for anything but another amazing year from Hamels.
Yesterday's performance against a solid Canada team was a good start.