Phillies

MLB News: Cole Hamels, NL Cy Young, Giants Sandoval, Brooks Robinson

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Cole Hamels 2011 NL Cy Young?

Check out some of the starting pitching performances from Tuesday night. There were only six American League games played last night, and half of them were complete game shutouts! When was the last time that you saw three complete game shutouts in the American League in one night?

  • DET, Justin Verlander, 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K
  • TAM, James Shields, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
  • LAA, Jered Weaver, 9.0, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • PHI, Cole Hamels, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • PIT, Jeff Karstens, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 RE, 0 BB, 3 K
  • HOU, Bud Norris, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
  • MIL, Yovani Gallardo, 7.0 IP, 3, H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
  • CIN, Johnny Cueto, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
  • LAD, Clayton Kershaw, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1ER, 2 BB, 4 K

 

The pitcher I want to talk about here however is Philadelphia Phillies starter, Cole Hamels.  Before the season started I suggested that Cole Hamels was my odds-on favorite to win the NL Cy Young. There were many reasons for that view, and 40% through the season they still hold true. The thinking went something like this (and still does). First, because of the “big three” pitchers the Phillies brought in, Hamels has been pushed down in the pecking order and would receive favorable pitching matchups almost every time out. Second, after the 2009 “quitting on the team” issue, Hamels has something to prove. Third, the guy is more talented and a better pitcher then he’s given credit for by the masses. 

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Hamels who is now 9-2, allowed one run and three hits striking out six and walking only one to tie teammate Roy Halladay and Boston’s Jon Lester for most wins in the majors. The gangly lefty left the game in the eighth with tightness in the middle of his back, but he doesn’t expect to miss a start. “I just got tight,” he said. “I don’t think that it’s smart to compete not at my best. I just wanted to play it smart.”

Hamels is one of the the most overlooked pitchers in baseball. Yes I know he’s was both the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP’s, but upon faltering in the playoffs the following year, the whole issue of him being labeled as “not wanting to compete” really tarnished his image. It’s almost like his 2008 campaign didn’t happen. If you recall, after Game 3 of the 2009 World Series when he struggled against the Yankees, Hamels said, “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining.” At the time, all sorts of people –including his then teammate Brett Myers interpreted that as Hamels quitting on the season.

Since making that comment, the Phillies have brought in Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee (for a second time). With three legitimate number one starters, the pressure is now off Hamels and he’s thriving. Hamels continues to receive favorable matchups outing after outing as he is a number one starter in his own right. Just take a look at MLB teams throughout the two leagues; there are a number of teams he would be the number one starter on.

In his past six starts, Hamels is 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA. Continually matched against lesser pitching competition, wagering on the Phillies when Hamels pitches has been an unbelievable profitable way to go. On the year he has a 2.48 ERA and combined with the Phillies offense, this is enough to get it done almost every time out.

CBS Sports.com has Hamels raked as the fourth best fantasy pitcher in all of MLB, just ahead of teammate Roy Halladay. Hamels has struck out 97 batters in 97 innings and has only walked 19 batters, numbers that for all intents and purposes mirror what Roy Halladay has done this year. Hamels’ ERA of 2.488 is only .096 above where Halladay sits and his WHIP of .9215 is the best in the NL, ranking only behind Justin Verlander in all of MLB.

Bet on the Phillies when he pitches and get him on your fantasy team too. Cole Hamels is on a path to winning the 2011 NL Cy Young.

The Panda Watch is On

San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI in his return to the lineup on Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco’s 6-5 win. It was his first action since April 29 as he’s been on the shelf with a broken bone in his right wrist.

The Panda watch is on for Fantasy Baseball participants as owners are salivating at the possibility of Sandoval qualifying as a catcher. There just aren’t that many quality hitting catchers in MLB and to have one pop up unexpectedly like this would be a pleasant surprise to many carrying two catchers that frankly couldn’t hit you or I. In most leagues a player has to play 10 games this year to qualify at a new position, so if he only gets 2-3 days per week behind the plate, he won’t become eligible until after the All Star break. So we watch and wait.

Brooks Robinson Released From Hospital

Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson was released from a hospital on Monday after receiving follow-up treatment for a fever and infection. The 74-year old 16-time Gold Glove Award winner is now home and recuperating.  Robinson, who played third base and spent his entire 23-year Major League career with the Orioles from 1955-77, was hospitalized for two weeks at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in April before undergoing what was expected to be routine surgery. He had returned to the hospital last week with complications.

It’s certainly seems that there has been an assault on the health of MLB Hall of Famers of late. With news of Gary Carter’s inoperable brain tumors coming on the heels of Harmon Killebrew’s passing, hearing that Robinson was ill was added weight on the world of MLB. It sounds like Robinson has a chance at full recovery here, let’s hope so.

Random Musings

Is MLB actually causing injuries as a matter of policy? Have you noticed all the oblique injuries this year? Oblique strains are all the rage. It appears that rise in oblique strains across MLB is most likely caused by the legal dietary supplement creatine. As it turns out, creatine adds water molecules to muscle fibers, which can cause those fibers to separate. This makes for easier muscle tears and slows the repair process. For a long time athletes went away from creatine because of these side effects when they could use anabolics and HGH. Now that MLB has cracked down on PED’s, players have gone back to creatine and thus the apparent oblique strain epidemic. So MLB has banned PEDs. which in turn has caused oblique injuries. Interesting.

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