Again, I ask, do you remember Cole Hamels?
The Milwaukee Brewers sure do.
Hamels, the 24-year-old ace of the Philadelphia Phillies rotation, takes the hill in tonight’s Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Obviously, this is the biggest start of Hamels’ young career.
But there is this: The only 2 times Hamels has faced the Dodgers came in August — when Manny Ramirez was there — and in both outings, Hamels pitched seven innings of two-run ball.
And this: He’s allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last 11 starts.
Wouldn’t you assume that he’d be nervous?
Apparently he isn’t.
Check out this USA Today feature by Bob Nightengale. In it, you’ll get the following tidbit from wife Heidi.
“I know it’s the playoffs and you should be nervous with all of the pressure,” says Heidi, his wife of two years, “but not Cole. I can’t even tell the difference on the day he’s pitching and when he isn’t. He’s just always so relaxed. The only difference is that he doesn’t pick up the phone on the day he pitches.”
On my night off, I’m planning to keep a close eye on the game (which starts at 7:22 p.m. on FOX), and after, I’ll have a little diddy on the blog.