Mar 042011
Phillies lefty Cole Hamels

Phillies lefty Cole Hamels

By Justin Adkins:

OK, it’s just his second start of the spring, but what the hell.  Cole Hamels looks good.

The ace lefty threw 50 pitches in four innings against the Boston Red Sox — a team many are predicting will eventually meet the Phillies again in much bigger games this fall — leading the Phillies to a 2-0 victory over Boston on Thursday.  Hamels gave up a hit and recorded three strikeouts against a Boston lineup filled with all their regulars except lefty first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Asked about facing what many consider the best lineup in baseball, Hamels didn’t seem fazed.

“I like it because it helps me get focused,” Hamels said.  “Facing teams like the Yankees and Boston prepares you for the regular season. You have to make pitches.”

Hamels has looked good all spring.  Before the exhibition games even started, pitching coach Rich Dubee was already raving about Hamels, saying he thinks the lefty is already in mid-season form and could pitch and win regular season games right now.  Dubee also said Hamels is throwing harder than he did at any point last season, a good sign considering Hamels pitched incredibly after struggling with arm fatigue in 2009.  Hamels has committed to an offseason strength, conditioning, and throwing plan and it looks to be really paying off.

So Cy Young talk is premature  of course, and that’s an obvious understatement.  But the underlying message lurking within the hyperbole is that Cole Hamels is poised to dominate, which is pretty damn exciting and that’s no exaggeration.

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