We’ve spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of the Philadelphia rotation this off-season. Joe Blanton has been the afterthought of the quintet, with former World Series hero Hamels not receiving much more attention.
Cliff Lee’s ridiculous numbers, pinpoint control and spurning of a huge offer by the Yankees and Roy Halladay’s dominance obviously receive the bulk of the attention. Roy Oswalt came over from Houston and produced a positively frightening set of numbers with the Phillies.
Then, there’s Hamels. He rebounded from a sub-par 2009 season to register a 3.06 ERA with 211 strikeouts last season (8 hits per nine innings). Hamels was a tough-luck hurler last season. Despite the brilliant peripherals, Hamels won only 12 games.
That changes in 2011?
He pitched four innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts while guiding the Phillies to an exhibition win over Boston on Thursday. Hamels threw 29 strikes in his 50 pitches before giving way to the bullpen.