Last night, Cole Hamels went 8+ innings allowing only 1 earned run and Brad Lidge worked a scoreless 9th inning helping the Phillies to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. How great was it to see Cole get his fastball up to 94 mph and see Lidge’s slider disappear?! Hamels and Lidge are 2 keys to the Phils push to return to the World Series for the third straight year and win their second World Series Championship in the last three years.
2008 was a magical year for the Philadelphia Phillies. They won their first World Series Championship in 28 years and second overall, and more importantly ended the city of Philadelphia’s 25 year professional sports championship drought. Two players who played a huge role in this effort were Brad Lidge, who converted every save opportunity in the Regular Season and Postseason, and Cole Hamels, who was the World Series MVP.
Last year, both Hamels and Lidge struggled throughout the year and during the Postseason in critical situations. Hamels was never able to put together a stretch of quality starts and Lidge had one of the worst seasons for any relief pitcher in recent history. There was Cole Hamels giving up a RBI base hit to Yankees’ pitcher Andy Pettitte in Game 3 of the World Series, which led to a 3-run inning. Hamels wasn’t able to Brad Lidge giving up 3 runs with 2 outs in the top of the 9th in Game 4 of the World Series minutes after Pedro Feliz hit a dramatic game-tying Homerun off Yankees’ stud reliever, Joba Chamberlain, with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 8th. As a result, the Series deficit for the Phils went to 3-1 and they ultimate lost the Series to the Yankees 4-2.
Can it be a different story this year? Can Hamels and Lidge return to their 2008 form? Can they shine if the Phils make it back to the Postseason? I hope the answer to all three of these questions is, “YES”!
Tom Glatz, Bucks County, PA
I’ve lived in the Greater Philadelphia Region my entire life and have been watching/following sports since I was 5 years old! I have grown to love all that is Philly sports – Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Eagles, Big 5, Army-Navy, etc. I love talking/chatting sports with those who like or hate the Philly teams. I tell it like it is, whether in favor of our Phillies or in favor of those DAMN YANKEES! 😀