If 2013 had been a typical season for Cole Hamels, the Phillies young ace would have notched his 100th career win by July or August. Hamels started the season just nine wins shy of the century mark. Since Hamels made his debut in May of 2006, he had never recorded less than nine wins during a season.
Well, 2013 was unlike any other year for Hamels. The hard-luck lefty, who received little support, went 8-14, despite a 3.60 ERA.
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Hamels finally notched win number 100 with a strong effort Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds. Domonic Brown was a huge reason why Hamels reached that milestone since the Phillies leftfielder homered and drove in five runs.
“It’s great that Cole won the game,” Brown said. “100 wins is huge but I have to tell you that I had no idea he was going for win number 100 until halfway through the game. We’re all thrilled for Cole.”
Hamels and the rest of the team are thrilled that Brown may have his groove back. Brown hit a two-run homer into the upper deck and drilled a bases-clearing double for a five-RBI night.
“I feel it coming around,” Brown said. “I turned on the ball twice. I’m confident that I’m ready to get going.”
Perhaps Brown is about to take off like he did last May when he hit 12 homers and drove in 25 runs.
“That’s when I started to heat up,” Brown said. “Maybe I’ll heat up with the weather.”
However, there is a big difference between May of last season and now. Last May, pitchers challenged Brown so much, he failed to draw a walk. This season, hurlers are very careful with Brown.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Brown said. “They’re throwing as much as they can low and away. I’ve just been going with it. I’ve been hitting a lot of singles to left but I know they expect production from me. They expect me to drive in runs with extra base hits. I think that’s going to come. I feel good after that (getting a pair of extra base hits).”
Brown’s biggest cheerleader Ben Revere was smiling when asked about his outfield mate. “It was only a matter of time until he got it together,” Revere said.
Speaking of Revere, the Phillies centerfielder, who has been missing in action since Thursday, sported a red ski mask over his face and surgical gloves in the clubhouse. Revere, who has battled a nasty stomach virus, didn’t want to infect his teammates.
“I figured I’d play it safe,” Revere said. “I feel better and I wanted to be here but it’s a good idea having something between me and everybody.”