Be that as it may, Hamels is 6-3 with a 2.67 ERA over his last 10 starts, so it seems as if he’s getting stronger. According to his teammates, he’s just the same old Cole.
"That’s his personality," catcher Chris Coste said. "He’s strong minded. He knows what he can do. Whether it’s the middle or July or the seventh game of the World Series, he’s the same guy. That’s just the way he is. Whether it’s a playoff game or a game like this one, he’s the guy you want on the mound."
Said fellow lefty Randy Wolf: "He has one of the three best changeups in baseball."
Johan Santana is at the top of that list, according to Wolf.
Moyer and Conine, both 40 and over, are two classic lead-by-example guys, who have shown the youngsters on the Phillies how to prepare and get into the right frame of mind to play. Both guys are intense, they do their homework, and they bring an organic intensity to every task. Moyer and Conine are not in Philadelphia to goof around – they’re here to win.
In 2003 the Marlins picked up Conine for the stretch run and he helped his team hammer the Phillies to win the wild-card and contributed to the World Series run. More important than his home runs to beat the Phillies was the attitude he brought to the Marlins. I remember Juan Pierre watching how the veteran prepared every day and said he was afraid to talk to Conine because, “He always looks like he’s mad.”
It turns out Conine wasn’t mad. He’s just hungry.
Miguel Cabrera has missed a couple games with a strained shoulder, the result of an awkward lunge at an outside pitch. Cabrera’s injury isn’t considered serious, but could keep him out for the rest of the season. The team is focused on getting past the controversy surrounding their manager and one way to do that would be finishing at or above .500. Cabrera’s return might well be tied to the chances of hitting that magic number. The MVP candidate should have no long-term concerns from the injury.
Carroll’s column is stellar stuff, though Howie Bryant’s steroids-in-baseball book was far superior to Carroll’s.
Phillies are on pace to win 84.1 games, which gives them a 46.53874 percent chance to win the wild card. However, the Padres (85.4 victories) and the Dodgers (84.7), still rate above the Phillies.
Can you say playoff game in Philadelphia on Oct. 2?