Phillies “Hollywood” Hamels Needs To Ring The Bell When Season Starts

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels experienced a serious drop in production in 2009, finishing a mediocre 10-11 during the regular season, and getting knocked out early in the World Series loss to the Yankees.

It was a far cry from the 2008 World Series MVP, when he went 2-0 and a 1.93 ERA vs. the Dodgers in the NLCS and 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in the World Series against Tampa Bay.

He likely could have gone 2-0 in the World Series if Commissioner Bud Selig halted Game 5 of the World Series with the Phillies leading, 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth. Nope, the commish had to wait until the game was tied in the top of the sixth, when during a heavy rainstorm, Hamels could throw only his fastball.

Anyway,I keep thinking about the Cliff Lee trade when the Phillies obtained Roy Halladay.

It was made because of the money and prospects. But it was also made because it is my belief that Cole Hamels could not take the perception of the being the No. 3 in the rotation.

In the forthcoming Sporting News cover story on Halladay, the ace gives high praise to Hamels. Charlie Manuel makes sure to mention Hamels will be a different pitcher from a year ago.

Hamels reportedly is adding a split fastball to go with his fastball, curve, and slider.

While fans would drool over a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Joe Blanton/J.A. Happ, a rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and Happ is one I could go to war with.

Ok, Hollywood, if you want to be the No. 2 on the staff, the pressure is on.

Imagine Halladay picking up 20 wins, Hamels 17, Blanton 16 and Happ 14. That’s 67 wins in a 162 game season. Madson with eight, Romero with five and Lidge with six would make 86 wins.

Hamels’ success would soften the Lee trade.

Following the 2008 season, Hamels, as the Series MVP, went on the banquet and television tour, appearing on shows like Letterman and Ellen.

This year the new father can focus on his family and baseball training.

It is a critical factor to getting back to the playoffs, league championship and World Series.

A week or two after the Lee trade happened, I thought and thought about the reason why the Phillies got rid of Lee in a separate deal from the Halladay trade.

And as I’ve stated before, I kept coming back to Cole Hamels.

Another sub .500 season could mean another National League East title, but a first or second-round outage in the playoffs.

A return to the 14-10 season of 2008 is a start. Or the 15-5 season in 2007.

A 17-win season would be even better.

Will he be “Hollywood” or hollow hope?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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