Yeah, you're right. You don't need Cole Hamels.
Coming into Citizens Bank Park for a duel against Hamels on Friday night was the man New Yorkers have, for some reason passing understanding, taken to calling "The Dark Knight."
Matt Harvey vs. Cole Hamels. A pitching match-up to drool over.
And while Harvey may just be the best pitcher in the National League right now, and if he isn't, probably will be very soon, it was Hamels who proved to every Major League team in need of a starting pitcher that he is what he has been since 2007.
Hamels is a true ace, and Ruben Amaro has been right to hold out for the moon for him.
Cole does what he does best in the biggest games and the brightest moments, and Friday night was no different, pitching seven innings and giving up one earned run on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. He had all his pitches going for him and pitched ahead of hitters, something he had not done a lot of so far this year.
His outstanding effort lowered his ERA 3.68, and you just got the sense watching him battle Mets hitters that he was especially dialed in. He knew the baseball world was watching, and he wanted to show up the new guy. And it helps that the Phils actually scored some runs for him.
When Cole Hamels gets 3 runs or more of support while in game, he is 9-0 since start of 2014 season. #Phillies— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) May 9, 2015
Harvey did not pitch badly, mind you. He threw six very effective innings, giving up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and one walk, but was done in by a superb evening from the warming Ryan Howard, who hit an RBI single and a solo home run to account for two of the Phils' three runs.
Ben Revere went 1-for-4 with an RBI single, and Freddy Galvis continues to pile up the hits, going 3-for-3 with a walk to raise his average to .351, which would be the 5th highest in the National League coming into the game.
And after two games off and three days of rest, Chase Utley returned to the lineup, but the results remained the same. He went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .099, leaving five men on base in the process.
According to @baseball_ref, Chase Utley's .099 average is lowest among qualified hitters through team's first 30 games since 1914.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 9, 2015
And, for perhaps the first time in his career, he heard a smattering of boos from the crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
Ken Giles relieved Hamels and, in what may have been the best news of the night, suddenly had his high-90s gas back, striking out two while reaching 98 mph on the gun, something no one has seen from him since last year. That is extremely encouraging news.
He then turned the game over to Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th, who recorded his 112th save as a member of the Phillies, tying him with Jose Mesa for most saves in franchise history.
But back to the story of the night, Cole Hamels, who showed how dominant he can be when he's on his game. Not like anyone really needs a starting pitcher right now anyway.
Definitely don't need Hamels pic.twitter.com/PwNtl6aUXr— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) May 9, 2015
There are people who have tried to minimize just how good Hamels has been throughout his career, and argue against trading for him whenever a bad start popped up early this season.
Well, that argument isn't going to work tonight. Hamels proved once again he is elite, and he did it in the biggest game of his season so far. Isn't that someone you want to either lead a young pitching staff or anchor the rotation of a potential playoff team? Isn't the Hamels we saw against the Mets, the one we have seen over and over and over again throughout his tenure in Philadelphia, worth at least one highly-touted draft pick?
And for the national writers who can't figure out why Amaro hasn't unloaded Hamels for a collection of B and C-list prospects, can you now see why he hasn't, and won't, do it?
Cole Hamels outdueled Matt Harvey. For Phillies fans who haven't had much to cheer for so far in 2015, Friday night was at least a reminder of how things used to be.
And it proved to everyone that Hamels is worth whatever the Phils are asking for him.