Aside from the contract talks over the first half of the season, Cole Hamels' performance on the field has almost flown under the radar in 2012. Lost amongst the disappointing struggles of his teammates has been his impressive work.
In fact, he's accomplished something only two other Phillies pitchers ever have.
To what are we referring? Well, Hamels struck out more than a batter per inning, and finished with a 1.12 WHIP and 3.05 ERA that was 32 percent better than the league average.
Phillies hustler Corey Seidman is here to tell us what it all means:
Only two other pitchers in the 130-year history of the Phillies have had a season with as many wins, as low a WHIP, as many strikeouts per nine innings and an ERA that much better than the league average: Curt Schilling in 1997 and Cliff Lee last season.
According to Seidman, only two other pitchers in baseball had those numbers this year -- Cy Young favorites Gio Gonzalez and Justin Verlander. Lee and Clayton Kershaw accomplished the same last year, but prior to those two, no one had done it since 2007.
And as for history that goes a bit farther back:
If you want to go back even further (and I know you do!), you’ll find that only three pitchers total met those criteria in the entire decade of the 1980s: Roger Clemens, Mike Scott and Doc Gooden. Only one pitcher – Tom Seaver in 1971 – did it in the ‘70s.
The Phillies have the 28-year-old Hamels locked up for six more years at the cost of $144 million. He won a career-best 17 games in 2012 thanks to his victory yesterday, and his manager knows he'll win 20 at some point -- if not 22, if not 24. Hey, that's Charlie, folks.
Here's a question, how many pitchers in baseball would you rather have over the next six years than Hamels? Hit the comments.
LINK: Hamels' 2012 matched by only two other Phillies [CSN]
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What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.