The Philadelphia Phillies are in a rare position. Most MLB teams would love to have either Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt or Cole Hamels as their ace. The Phillies, however, have all three.
They have three aces and Hamels, the former NLCS and World Series MVP from 2008, is their friggin’ No. 3. Their No. 3! Who wouldn’t want that?
Hamels was asked if this pitching staff, with this lineup, would be considered a failure if they don’t win a second World Series title in three years.
“Yeah, you have to,” he said, per Philly.com. “To be in the category of being the greatest, the best, you have to prove it. You can’t have the team that woulda, shoulda, coulda. A lot of people can talk about how great a team was, but if you don’t have anything to show for it, then it’s really hard to convince people.”
Hamels finished with a career-low 3.06 ERA and a career-high 211 strikeouts. That’s not too shabby for a third frickin’ starter!
“It puts our team in the best scenario. To have guys that can each start a Game 1, that just instills confidence in each other and, hopefully, in our offense,” he said. “Knowing that any one of us can get the job done and do a very good job. But we have to get the job done.”
Hamels has been very good at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. He is 3-0 there with a 1.67 ERA, keeping Reds batters to a .172 avg.
Last year, he was criticized for not being mentally ready. He made comments about being ready for this all to be over after he squandered a lead in Game 3 of the World Series last year. They didn’t go over well.
“I feel a lot stronger and a lot healthier. Mentally, I feel more prepared. Even from ’08,” he said. “Then it was just going on excitement of being in the postseason for the second time and trying to make it last more than three games. I felt good then, but I feel like I have a better workout plan now, so I should be a lot stronger. And with the last couple seasons of being in the postseason, I feel like I can mentally handle it.”
He should. Of the three super studs starting for the Phillies, he has the most impressive post-season resume. And he’s their No. 3 starter. Can Phillies fans ever remember when that was the case?