Originally written on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 11/14/14

Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have found their secret to success. Unfortunately, they only get to put their plan in action every fifth day. The secret? Run Cole Hamels out to pitch. He’ll either deliver a complete game or get you deep enough to forgo the Phillies’ sieve of a bullpen.

In Cole Hamels last three outings for the Phillies, he has shown exactly why signing him to a long term contract was an absolute necessity. He is 3-0 and has given up 3 runs in 25.2 innings. He is already earning that 6-year $144 million extension he signed less than a month ago.

For the season, Hamels now sits at 14-6 with a 2.94 ERA. He was dominant for most of last night’s 4-3 win over the Brewers, but finally surrendered a 2 run homer to Ryan Braun in the 8th inning. When the game tightened, the Phillies decided to bring in their closer Jonathan Papelbon for a 4 out save.

Papelbon got out of the 8th and then threw a perfect ninth for his 27th save of the season.

The night really belonged to Cole Hamels though as he piled on 10 more strikeouts to give him 168 for the year.

With another 8 starts still likely for Hamels, besting his career best 15 wins could be just a matter of time. While he isn’t the leading candidate for the Cy Young Award (he finished 5th last year) his name is still in the conversation. A strong finish could certainly fortify his chances.

If only the Phillies could figure out what to do on the 4 days that Hamels doesn’t pitch.

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