After a disappointing 2009 season, there were questions about Cole Hamels’ maturity and whether he was a flash in the pan. Hamels has some answers for his critics.
The 26-year-old has come of age on and off the mound. Despite a mystifying lack of run support, Hamels has maintained his composure this season. If a teammate makes an error behind him, Hamels hasn’t let it bother him. The lanky southpaw has posted a stellar 3.06 ERA with 12 wins.
Not only has Hamels re-established himself as an elite starter, he has grown up off the field. When asked about his 25-inning shutout streak (ended Sept. 14), Hamels downplayed the achievement.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” Hamels said. “It’s the wins that get you to the playoffs. The individual records aren’t as big a deal anymore.”
The key word Hamels used is anymore. During the latter half of Hamels’ 2007 breakout season, the San Diego native waxed of adorning his mantel with enviable hardware.
“I would love to win a Cy Young Award, throw a no-hitter and just achieve as much as I can,” Hamels said.
Hamels did garner some coveted honors, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP awards, but Hamels is all about the team in his fifth major league season.
“That’s what matters most,” Hamels said. “I want to win championships.”
The hurler known as “Hollywood” insists that he isn’t as California cool as his image suggests.
“I’m not that person,” Hamels said. “But I’m also not the same person I was when I was a rookie.”