In 2003, Charlie Manuel was in his first season as special assistant to Phillies then-General Manager Ed Wade. In his role, he went around to see a number of prospects at the different minor league parks and included were a few trips to Lakewood to see Cole Hamels.
After Hamels pitched six shutout innings last night and earned the win as the Phillies moved up two games to one over St. Louis in their best-of-five National League Division Series, Manuel said the following (via the Philadelphia Inquirer):
“He keeps his cool whether some people realize it or not,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “He’s gutty. And he’s been gutty ever since I’ve known him . . . Even when I saw him in Lakewood, I knew he had that. I like him out there in any situation.”
Assuming that Manuel did not see any of his road starts, he saw one of three starts in Lakewood (Hamels made 13 starts with the BlueClaws in 2003 but only three of them were in New Jersey).
May 24 vs Lake County (W): 6.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 12 K
June 8 vs Hagerstown (W): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K
July 15 vs Delmarva (W): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K
The July 15th game was indeed exactly what it looks like, six perfect innings against Delmarva in what turned out to be his final home start (he was promoted to Clearwater two weeks later). He came out of that game early due to pitch count.
Victor Menocal came in and gave up a hit to the leadoff man in the 7th inning, Delmarva’s Gera Alvarez, who was a coach this year with West Virginia. Alvarez scored the only Shorebirds run in a 5-1 BlueClaws win.
In three starts in Lakewood, Hamels went 3-0, threw 19.1 shutout innings, gave up five hits and three walks and struck out 36 hitters.
This is what Ryan Howard said (via the article linked above) about Hamels yesterday:
“Cool, calm, had that San Diego attitude, that air going,” Howard was saying at his locker after yesterday’s 3-2 gut check gave the Phillies a 2-1 Division Series lead. “He was a movie star. Hugo Boss.”