The Fightins'
Sep
23
2010
A Cy For Cole?
Posted by at 10:27 am ET 75 Comments

Let’s get something out of the way now: Roy Halladay is the National League’s 2010 Cy Young Winner. At this point, it’s a race for second and third place among the rest of the contenders. Or that’s the way it should be, anyhow.

One guy who should finish close to (if not right behind) Halladay in the voting? His partner-in-Ace, Cole Hamels.

The regular readers of this blog are more than aware of my man-crush on Cole Hamels and his ability to change speeds and hurl a rawhide orb better than most, (Relevant) so it’s only natural that I proclaim that he should, at the very least, receive consideration for Cy Young in 2010.

Currently, Hamels’ 2.91 ERA is good enough for tenth in the league, which is not only impressive considering that 2010 is the year of the pitcher, but also given how rocky the start to his 2010 campaign was. In five starts in April, he and his 5.28 ERA looked more like the Cole who coughed it up in last year’s playoffs than the Cole who is currently the best pitcher on the Phillies’ staff.

But since then, he’s been an entirely different pitcher, putting up a 2.51 ERA in 172 innings over 27 starts since May. That is among the best in the National League over that span, ahead of the likes of Tim Hudson, Roy Halladay and Ubaldo Jimenez.

At this point, many are probably thinking “But you can’t take out his April starts. They still happened, and that’s a egregious instance of cherry picking to support your point.” If you thought that, then you’d be correct. I am neglecting his numbers from April, but I am doing so to illustrate this: In baseball (and sports, ice cream cones, screenwriting, life in general), it isn’t how you start, it’s how you finish.

This goes for the players as well as the teams. How many MVPs have been won on the strength of a strong second half? How many teams have entered the All Start break with a division lead, only to miss the playoffs? We, as Phillies fans, should know this more than anyone. Look at 2007, 2008, and so far, this season. All required fantastic finishes, which brings me to my point, that is: What is more important, a strong start or a strong finish?

Ubaldo Jimenez was the greatest pitcher in the world in April and May (10-1, 0.78 ERA), but then summer hit and he tanked. Since then, he’s put up a 4.42 ERA since then, a far cry from the pitcher who started the season with such dominance.  But yet, we look at his 19-6 record and 3.00 ERA and say “Now there is a guy who is a great pitcher!”

For Cole, it was just the opposite: He started out slow, but turned it on in May and has been every bit as good, and sometimes better, than his teammate and fellow Ace, Roy Halladay, along with nearly every other starting pitcher in the N.L. And while his stats on the season aren’t leading the league, they are still impressive. He is in the top ten in the N.L. In innings pitched, strikeouts, WHIP, K/BB, and K/9.

But again, the most impressive thing about him is what he has done lately, while the Phillies have surged to overtake the Braves in the division. He’s allowed two runs in 28.2 innings this month, good for a 0.63 ERA. Since the break, he’s been the epitome of great, with the second best ERA in the MAJORS (1.89) among starters with at least 70 innings pitched. Literally, that’s better than any other pitcher not named Felix Hernandez.

At the risk of getting all Jon Morosi on everyone, there is a lot that can and should be said about how pitchers perform when the stakes are highest. The games do not occur in a vacuum, especially in September. When Cole’s performance is viewed in that context, side by side with the fact that Halladay has been somewhat un-Halladay like lately, it gives a ton more meaning to those starts and added weight to how good that he’s been.*

*Side Note: I did not forget about Roy Oswalt, who has been really, really good, and is just as deserving as Cole or Doc for the Cy Young. Guy has been straight-up great since coming over from Houston, and he has as much to do with this recent run of success as anyone else on the team. But this post is just about Cole, not Roy. Just want you all to know that I didn’t forget about him.

Does that mean that Cole should win the Cy Young? Not necessarily, as I think it is about the entirety of a season, which is why Doc gets my vote. But his recent run of dominance should garner much more consideration for the award, ahead of the Jimenezs, the Wainwrights, the Hudsons, and just about every other pitcher in the N.L. in the conversation.

Which brings me back to my premise: What is more important, readers: A strong start, or a strong finish?

  • Amandah

    He went from total fag to total winner in my book!

    Regards,

    Amandah

  • mark

    2010, not 2001

  • http://www.walkoffwalk.com Rob I.

    I would actually vote for Brett Myers ahead of Cole Hamels even if all his starts literally took place in a vacuum.

  • Eric

    Just got my game 1 tickets. Thanks, Phils.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jondgc Jon

    I was not chosen for tickets. :(

  • Cole Handsome

    I’ve been burned too many times by the likes of you. No, I won’t run stairs like that show-off Halladay. I’ll do my cardio in a gym.

  • TOMMcCARTHYlicksWHEELS’taint

    off day. no tickets. fuck.

  • Zeke

    i won WS tix through the lottery in ’08 so i can hardly complain, but yeah–no tickets for me today, either.

  • Eric

    I’ve now won 08 NLCS tix, 09 NLCS tix, and ’10 NLDS tickets. I just assume I’m going to win at this point.

  • TOMMcCARTHYlicksWHEELS’taint
  • James Fayleez

    Dash,

    Why not just write I WANT TO HOT TUB WITH COLE HAMELS 50 times and submit that as your post?

    I mean, I also agree he is pitching very well and has totally rebounded from taking off 2009, but you just go overboard. And one of your favorite points when talking Cole is, “Well remember he was sucking, but then he got better.”

    It’s like you’re so blinded by love that you can’t even argue for him correctly. Point out his record as a whole (like you did with Jimenez). The ERA is pretty good for the season, right?
    That’s what people look at. Managers, owners, fans, etc.
    Don’t go, “Well, if you eliminate the starts that he lost, he ‘s UNDEFEATED!”

    You sound like a 5th grader.

    Is Troy Tulowitski the MVP of the National League for 2010 because he’s killing it in September?
    Wait, do you love Troy also?
    Because if you do, then answer to my question is yes.

  • James Fayleez

    @tommacarthywheelstaint

    That Cy Young predictor list is biased because it doesn’t go up to 15 for the National League.

    If you take out the closers and you take away any runs that Cole Hamels gave up this year, he’s in the top 5.

  • Captain Awesome

    I really do hope Halladay gets the Cy Young. When are they usually announced?

    And yes, Cole is awesome this year.

  • John K

    “What is more important, a strong start or a strong finish?”

    uh…in terms of your value to the team? neither.

  • don

    As one of the people ranting and raving about BABIP and bad luck and telling people to chill the fuck out over Cole’s 2008, I feel very vindicated that he’s having an awesome season (he’s getting a little lucky too, and not just with the playboy wife, but it’s still the best season he’s had yet). Hopefully he’ll be in Philly a while so we can keep watching guys almost fall over flailing at changeups that bounce on the plate.

  • Roy Oswalt

    But guys, I just threw a one hit shutout last night, may I have an award too?

  • Tyson

    @James Fayleez

    Isn’t Dash supposed to love Cole? Isn’t Cole a Phillie? Isn’t Cole pitching like a freak right now?

    How about you start acting an real fan and actually like the players who play for your favorite team, instead of turning a well-intentioned article into some gay-bashing bullshit that has nothing to do with anything.

  • don

    And by 2008 I mean 2009.

    #10 – what the hell is Francisco Cordera doing on that list? 38/46 in save ops. 4.12 ERA in 67 IP. Um… great?

  • Mike P

    I don’t have a problem with the notion that Cole would be in the top 10, but, off the top of my head, I don’t think he’s more deserving than Wainwright or Johnson, and maybe even Jimenez, Hudson, and Latos. Of course, I think Doc is most deserving. His stats are ridiculous, and I think the Phils’ playoff status and his perfecto puts him over the other pitchers who are very close to him in most statistical categories (namely, Wainwright).

    I’m not dissing Cole’s accomplishments this year. He has pitched his brains out, especially since the break, but he doesn’t belong in the top 3 discussion.

  • Guy who didn’t read the post

    WHAT ABOUT ROY 2 ?!

  • Matt Stairs

    Oh hey, James Fayleez made a whole 2 posts without calling Cole ‘Peanut Chews’

    although the Cole bashing still continued, albeit to a slightly lesser extent than usual for Fayleez.

    For as much as Dash supposedly has Cole on the brain, I think Fayleez equally does…although obviously from different angles.

    Whatever way you want to look at it though, Cole has been having the best year of his career to date.

    Both ERA and strikeouts are at career bests this year, although Cole is extremely unlikely to match his innings pitched total from 2008, he’ll at least come very close there as well.

  • James Fayleez

    @Tyson

    I like the players who play for the Phillies. I cheer for Ozzy, Lights Out and Chooch like it’s nobody’s business.

    You sound angry because I pointed out that Dash goes overboard with his love for Cole. I think his next “well-intentioned article” is going to suggest that Cole gets the Noble Peace Prize for curing his broken heart.

    Maybe you think he’s a Cy Young candidate as well….

  • James Fayleez

    @Stairs

    When I don’t bathe in the man-love for Cole, it’s seen as being critical?

    I gave him his props the other night when he pitched well. I don’t want to see him fail. I want the Phillies to win the WS.

    I also want Dash to stop writing love letters to Cole, but alas, it’s his forum….

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Hey there is James Fayleez! I was looking for you buddy. Now stop typing you yammering barrel of dumb.

    Anyway Cole has been dominant, and an ace, this year, no doubt. But he shouldn’t garner more than some 4th or 5th place votes. I would put Doc, Waino, and probably Josh Johnson (although Cole has significantly more IP) ahead of him, at least. Not Jimenez, not Hudson. I guess it depends on what you mean by “consideration” for the Cy Young. Because he certainly shouldn’t win, nor do I think Doc is the only one ahead of him. There are other years where Cole’s performance would put him in fine position to win it, but there are just too many great pitching performances this year.

  • Keegan

    BUT WHAT ABOUT HEATH BELL GUYS

    /ESPN’d

  • KGB

    Not on topic, but related to good pitching. Saw this fact on ESPN: “From 2004 to 2009, there were five 1-0 games at Citizens Bank Park. In the last 2 1/2 months, there have been six 1-0 games there (five won by the Phillies).”

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Also, I’m sorry, but under no circumstances should a relief pitcher ever, ever win the Cy Young, unless they somehow manage to log 180 IP or something. Make a separate award for them that is less dumb than ROLAIDS RELIEF MAN or whatever the fuck it is.

  • James Fayleez

    The more I think about it, this post should be titled:

    “A Cry For Cole?”

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    The more you think about something is generally worse for humanity as a whole

  • ScottGraham

    Hammels is having a career season, but is there much more room for growth? He’ll regress back towards the median (not as good as this year, not as terrible as 2009) next season, which is why I still don’t agree with trading a younger pitcher with more upside in JA Happ and I’d still take Cliff Lee over Hammels every day of the week.

  • ScottGraham

    There. Now everyone can stop trolling.

  • Bastardo’s Changeup

    “Younger pitcher with more upside”
    LOL.

  • http://idontgiveaschmidt.com Adam Eaton

    @Dash

    I don’t have a problem with your love for Cole or his numbers he put up in the second half. But I disagree with him being in consideration for the CY. I think come back player of the year award is Cole’s to lose. How’s that sound? It’s shows he’s not being overlooked for what he’s done but it isn’t as masculine as the CY. And that fits Cole well.

    #RoyForCy

  • http://www.goldenphila.com maria

    I finally won that Phillies lottery thing. I’ll be at game 2 in section 307.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    If nothing else, watching Phillies fans expose their deep-seated gender insecurities by taking them out on Hamels for the past year has been fascinating.

  • James Fayleez

    @Adam Eaton

    What did Cole come back from? Mailing it in last year?

  • Old Pee-Stained Urinal From Veterans Stadium

    in re: don @ #15 –

    Yeah. Just how many people fell off Cole’s wagon and are now back on it? Sort of like Raul. Thank God RAJ didn’t read and take the advice of some of these bloggers, because Cole, Raul, and probably Ryan Howard and Chase Utley as well would be wearing different uniforms.

  • James Fayleez

    I’m laughing because Don feels vindicated.

    Like Don, are you walking around pointing at yourself like Rob Van Dam going, “YEAH!!!”

  • http://twitter.com/h_cliff_slocumb Heathcliff Slocumb

    Anyone who rags on Cole at this point is a fucking dimwit. Remember when everyone wanted to trade him after last year? When no one had the common sense enough to realize that the kid had baseball on the brain for 18 straight months thanks to all kinds of appearances and whatnot after his ’08 dominance? People really can be so god damn dumb sometimes.

    Where’s JDash? End of 2009 I stated without hesitation that Cole would have exactly this kind of year. I did say he’d have 15-18 wins, and by all means, he really should at this point if not for the lack of offense.

    People are also still down on Lidge. Some guy at the bar the other night, who was a pretty legit fan from what I could tell, was going on about how Madson should be going for 2-inning saves and Lidge shouldn’t be used at all. Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?

    So many people (in this town) have their heads so far up a collective ass-o-stupidity sometimes.

    Cole definitely deserves Cy consideration, and should be in the top 5, but I wouldn’t say with absolute certainty that he should finish directly behind Roy, though it’s debatable enough to propose.

  • http://www.yankees.com Nick Swisher

    this is a friggin joke, right? “Cole Hamels” and “Cy Young” do NOT belong the same page together, much less the same f’ing sentence.

  • http://twitter.com/4who4what ScottGraham

    Who deserves it then, Nick? (Note: the Yankees are not eligible for the NL CY Young)

  • will.H

    nick, he won’t win it, but he’ll earn slight consideration.. just like latos, hudson, etc.. even though they wont win. Any more big boy thoughts.. keep sharing, you’re fun.

  • Old Pee-Stained Urinal From Veterans Stadium

    @Heathcliff #39 –

    “ass-o-stupidity” ?

    Dude, you need to patent that phrase.

  • James Fayleez

    Add Heathcliff to the list of people who feel VINDICATED.

    And please introduce me to the guy who was ragging on LIGHTS OUT, so I can punch his….uh….LIGHTS OUT.

    ALLOW MYSELF TO INTRODUCE MYSELF!!!!

  • Bay Slugga

    Let me preface this statement by saying I love The Fightins.

    I’m sure your a good guy and all, but nobody cares about these long winded articles you write, Dash. I don’t care if you think Cole Hamels deserves a Cy Young. I want to come to The Fightins and see boob grabs and Matt Diaz tripping fans. You don’t work for the Inquirer, and I don’t want to hear about your thoughts on baseball as if you are some enlightened scholar.

  • James Fayleez

    HOLY CRAP – THANK YOU!

    BAY SLUGGA FTW

  • Bay Slugga

    And on the other side of the coin I’ll defend you and say Cole Hamels will probably be finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young voting. Nick Swisher obviously hasn’t looked at a stat sheet lately.

  • Bay Slugga

    ScottGraham: I disagree with you. Cole Hamels hasn’t peaked yet, and I don’t think he will “regress towards the mean”. I’ll go out on a limb and say 2008 and 2010 are the mean, with 2009 being his down year.

    Maybe save this article for next year when he actually wins the award.

  • James Fayleez

    Agreed – he is pitching very well this year. He pitched very well in 2008.

    I can admit I’ve been pissed at him in the past because of the laissez-faire attitude and him taking off last year and all, but the bottom line is he’s a member of my Phillies and I want him to succeed.

    The teasing and anger comes from a good place.

    I LOVE ME SOME PEANUT CHEWS!!!!

  • Bay Slugga

    James: I believe there is a strong correlation between the season Hamels had in 2009 and the Verducci effect. I don’t often read the comments section here, but I’m sure this has been mentioned. A huge jump in BABIP didn’t help Cole either.

    Cole’s attitude last year seemed to be out of frustration to me, not lack of focus. Amaro believed in Cole rebounding enough to trade away you know who, too.

  • James Fayleez

    Please Bay Slugga,

    I have a warm feeling about you because you gave Dash the business. Don’t ruin it with sabremetrics.

    And I don’t think about you-know-who anymore because Ozzy is the man. Would YKW have played left field and shagged a ball for us? I don’t think so.

  • http://twitter.com/4who4what ScottGraham

    Bay slugga, I was joking and trying to get the inevitable “cliff lee/ja happ” comments out the way. Hamels has far from peaked and if anything will continue to progress. I also think the shift in his mentality has to lot to do with him being the ace of a staff at his age. He was “the guy” in 08 and most of 09, and I think that contributed to his mentality. He was essentially just competing with his 08 performance, and when he struggled there was nobody other than Moyer to really feed off of. Now he can see how the best pitcher in baseball prepares for games and reacts to negative situations during the game.

  • Old Pee-Stained Urinal From Veterans Stadium

    Bay Slugga–THANK YOU!!!!!

    You said, “Amaro believed in Cole rebounding enough to trade away you know who, too.”

    I have said that same thing to some of my friends and even suggested the idea on other blogs. And everyone thought I was nuts. The fact is Cole from this season and Doc are far better than Cole from last season and Lee. And the Phillies knew that, that’s why they felt like they could trade Lee when they did.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    Yes, don’t let facts get in the way, clearly he just “took 2009 off” which is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard but oh hey look it washed up in the crumb-spitting mumblings of James Fayleez, imagine my surprise

  • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=nyy Nick Swisher

    I want to get butt-fingered by Curtis Granderson

  • don

    Fayleez – I haven’t watched wrestling since I was like, 10 so I can’t picture Mr. Dam walking around pointing at himself. Picture a geekier kind of self satisfaction, like Matt Damon’s character in the Oceans movies except uglier.

    Also the Verducci affect isn’t sabermatics and also doesn’t really apply to Hamels. Literally the only difference between Hamels ’08 and Hamels ’09 is BABIP; this year he added the cutter and is throwing his fastball faster. He’s striking out more guys and getting more grounders. He’d still need to take another leap forward to be a real Cy Young contender, though.

  • James Fayleez

    Don,

    From the always accurate wikipedia:
    In baseball statistics, Batting average on balls in play (abbreviated BABIP) is a statistic measuring the percentage of plate appearances ending with a batted ball in play (excluding home runs) for which the batter is credited with a hit [1]. BABIP is commonly used as a red flag in SABREMETRIC analysis.

    This is what I was referring to.

  • http://www.firerubenamaro.net Phylan

    what is your non-point about this non-thing, James Fayleez

    what happens the more you think about it, besides a vaguely uncomfortable rise in the temperature of your skull casing

  • Tyson

    @James Fayleez & Bay Slugga

    I’m sure you’re both just as much of Phillie fans as the rest of us here, but I’m not sure why you have to waste our time bashing the creators of the blog who give your voice a way to be heard.

    If you don’t like the “long winded” articles, then don’t read them. And even more so, don’t write posts about how much you hate them.

    I enjoy some of the lighter posts on this blog just as much as the next guy. Boob grabs and photoshopped R.A. Dickey pictures never get old.

    If you are so sick of not seeing tits in every post, there are plenty of other websites on the internet for that. (i.e. http://www.newyorkmets.com) And if you’re still not satisfied, start your own damn blogs.

    But those of us who have more than 2 brain cells to rub together don’t mind contemplating Dash’s insight.

    Dash’s post are always baseball-related and are backed up with stats to support his arguments. Nobody should be expecting to see Philadelphia Inquirer-type content on here, but sometimes its nice to break up the banter.

  • Keegan

    +1 to Tyson.

    Shit needs to just calm down.

  • Bay Slugga

    Tyson, you are right, I could just look over them. However, I actually think they clutter and detract from the site. The Fightins knows what it is, and it does a hell of a job at doing what they are good at. These articles are the exact opposite of what makes The Fightins the best, and IMO severely detract from the overall experience. Like I said before, an article like this belongs on the Zo Zone or in the Inquirer. Stop cluttering my boobage!

    The Verducci effect actually perfectly applies to Hamels since he had such a huge IP boost with the WFC. Going forward I expect Hamels to be the poster boy for the argument, and If I were a betting man I’d say Jon Neise might have some struggles next year too.

  • Bobby D

    An intelligent, topical conversation is always a welcome 7th inning stretch to split up 9 whole innings of dick jokes and catcher/ice cream related stories.

  • Old Pee-Stained Urinal From Veterans Stadium

    In the words of the late, great Harry the K – “Tyson, you ARE the man!!”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejawJVHPjLQ Greenman!

    Charlie needs to start giving Cole the choke signal so he doesn’t steal votes from Halladay.

  • Shamels Raul Wertiz

    I hate to be one of those people but I dont think the Fightins is that funny anymore, on its own. The comments are really the highlight for me and the only reason I come on. At least a post like this is different from the “Open Game Thread” and “Game Recaps” which I know are staples, but its seemed to be the ONLY things on the site recently. Still love The Fightins and think its the best out there its just kind of not as “pee my pants” funny as before. As for this kind of post, I think of it as the Vic Vinegar to the funny Hugh Honey posts.

    All that crap aside that even I feel gay writing… I agree with #64. Even though I love Cole.

  • http://idontgiveaschmidt.com/ Jdashdog

    @Heathcliff, I got your back. I can understand how people got down on Cole last year though. I used to call him a bitch, a fairy, whatever… It was all out of love. Deep down we all wanted to Cole succeed and knew that he should. But sometimes when you get home from work and dinner aint ready, somebody is getting smacked up. Nah mean?

  • http://www.yankees.com Nick Swisher

    @#55,

    There’s only one Nick Swisher…and it’s not you, clown.

  • kirk g

    fayleez, you should move your shit to a mets website.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejawJVHPjLQ Greenman!

    @67 it’s not you either, but you seem like you might be a bigger douchebag than the real Swisher.

  • Mike P

    For what it’s worth, I appreciate Dash’s more serious posts. They play nicely with the photoshopping and Alfonseca tributes.

  • James Fayleez

    This is great. I get to see firsthand how a rumor actually gets started.

    Tyson suggests I jump on the Mets website and then another goof tells me to a Mets website. It’s catching fire. I’m now a Mets fan.

    I loved thefightins.com ever since I saw the first pic of them making fun of Chris Wheeler. He’s the bane of my existence. Not Cole Hamels. That’s why I’m here.

    So go take that Mets lov’in shit and project it on someone else. The only good REY-ASS is a

  • James Fayleez

    ….IR REY-ASS.

  • http://twitter.com/h_cliff_slocumb Heathcliff Slocumb

    JDash – I totally feel that. And let’s make sure we’re perfectly clear here. Just because I back Cole as a pitcher by no means negates the fact that I still think he’s a fairy, bitch, etc. I mean, the dude carried a dog around in a backpack and sounds like a pre-pubescent Pre-pubescent whenever he speaks (though he sounded a bit more bass-y this year; maybe Roy is rubbing off).

    Pee Stain guy – consider ass-o-stupidity patented, but feel free to use it at will.

    Bobby D – You and anyone else who comes to this site and talks about intelligent conversation as a refreshing break from balls, dicks, ice cream, etc. is why they invented Crashburn Alley and/or Beerleaguer. I still fail to comprehend why anyone would come here looking for much more than filth, profanity, and dessert.

  • Bay Slugga

    Heathcliff: I hate this sort of comment on Cole. Let me educate you on this whole thing.

    1st. You would carry that dog around in that backpack if it meant you got to sleep with Heidi Hamels.

    2nd. Cole Hamels has a smokin hot wife. You, do not.

    3rd. Cole Hamels is a millionaire who manhandles professional athletes on the big stage. You, are not.

    4th. If it came down to a fist fight between you and Cole, he would fucking knock you out. Being that he is a professional athlete in peak physical condition, while you… are not.

    Otherwise, he is a total fucking pussy.

  • http://twitter.com/h_cliff_slocumb Heathcliff Slocumb

    We may have different logic, but at least we agree on the basic facts. Cole Hamels is a pussy.

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