As you know I attended saturday night’s Phillies-Reds game at Great American Ballpark. On this night the fans who attended were treated to see Philadelphia lefthander Cole Hamels’ career outing. Although it sucked to see him dominate the Reds hitters for 9 innings, it was the highest strikeout game by a starter that I’ve ever seen live, with Hamels striking out 15 Reds on the night. It was the first time a Philadelphia starting pitcher had 15 K’s in a ballgame since Curt Schilling.
I had a chance to interview Hamels for a short time after the game, which really was more of a ‘shooting the shit’ session. I have to say, Hamels is a cool dude and was really just a laid back guy.
Hamels threw 115+ pitches on the evening, and there was never any doubt that he was going to be left out there to finish what he started. It was as good of an indicator as any that Charlie Manuel has no faith in the Philadelphia bullpen. What should have been an easy save opportunity for Tom Gordon or anyone else down in the Philadelphia bullpen, it wasn’t even considered at any point. It was Hamels game to win or lose, period. That said he absolutely shit on the Reds hitters all night long and they looked extremely uncomfortable all evening. The only real mistake Hamels made all night was a homerun that Jeff Conine hit early in the ballgame, which stood up to be the Reds only run.
“Hey Cole, hows that arm feel?”
“Sore, really sore. It is going to hurt,” Hamels said.
“Well nice game tonight. Take it easy on these guys next time man.”
“I”ll do my best, tonight just felt real good.”
I’ve heard several times from sites like On the DL that Hamels likes the bottle a bit. That led me to my next comment:
“Well I know that arm hurts, but just go out tonight and have a few cold ones, it won’t hurt anymore ya know?”
He laughed hard and really perked up after that. I could tell before I even said that, it was on his docket for the evening to find one of Cincinnati’s better watering holes to celebrate his big outing on the mound. Afterall, it was a saturday night and the night was relatively young.
My friend Justin had a camoflauge hat with him, and after Cole signed my cousin Joe’s shirt, my buddy wanted his non-baseball hat signed. Cole kind of looked at it, confused. I’m guessing he’s not a hunter. There’s not a lot to hunt in Philly, non-human anyway.
“Hey Cole, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to autograph?”
He thought about it for a couple seconds.
“Haha, I would rather not say but there has been some pretty odd things,”
“Well anything as odd as a camoflauge hunting hat?”
“Much weirder, much much weirder man,”
I just left it at that. Leave it up to the readers to decide what else he’s signed. Hamels then showed his more colorful side, by turning away, and then back towards me with his small silver microphone.
“Hey look, I’m Bob Barker,”
Laughing, I told him great game, and to have a good night.