posted 8 years ago
PHILADELPHIA -- When Cole Hamels awoke on the morning of his first start in this year's postseason, there was one thing that made his wife think this trip to the playoffs was going to be different: He was the same.
That's right, Hamels' wife Heidi saw that her husband hadn't changed, and it was as if he were going to the field like any other day. And that, his friends, family and teammates believe, is what's made the difference this year.
Hamels has always been mature for his age, but in the past year he's taken a giant leap forward in learning more about himself, and how he approaches his job. And it was how he approached his job in Philadelphia's 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Thursday night that left teammates impressed.
"In a game like [Thursday night's NLCS Game 1], where he throws seven innings and gives up two runs," said Phillies closer Brad Lidge, "is just as impressive to me -- from a mental standpoint -- than when he throws eight shutout innings."
Heidi had told reliever Chad Durbin that she felt Cole was the same person he had been all year, and that she knew that this postseason would be different. Hamels had admitted to feeling uneasy last year when he made the first postseason start of his career; he walked four and gave up three runs in a loss to the Rockies. The Phillies were swept and it was over.