Thursday, October 2, 2008

Different atmosphere, it is. Pitch the same, you must.

The Phillies won their first playoff game in 15 years yesterday thanks to masterful work from starting pitcher Cole Hamels. Hamels went 8 shutout innings, struck out 9, and allowed only 2 hits and 1 walk. The outing was much better than last years Game 1 against the Colorado Rockies. So what was different? Why was he more comfortable? It all comes down to the Phillies' Yoda.
"I knew the importance of the game," Hamels said. "And it's something where, because of last year, I learned what it really takes in trying to kind of mellow out, not to have that sort of excitement where you can't really control everything."

It wasn't just last year's disappointment that delivered that powerful message. It was also this pitching staff's resident Yoda -- veteran left-handed sage Jamie Moyer. Moyer said he approached Hamels in the trainer's room this week for a little chat about how to deal with postseason madness.

"I told him, 'It's the playoffs, yes. But you still have to go about it the same,'" Moyer said. "I said, 'Just remember you're the same person. Don't lose sight of why you're here or what you've done to get here.'"
Thanks for your help yesterday, Yoda.

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