Phillies SP Cole Hamels. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
PHILADELPHIA — Centered around the Phillies season is Cole Hamels.
With the team in the middle of its worst season in over a decade, retaining Hamels is their focus. With the Giants in town today, another player being the indirect focus during these contract negotiations will pitch against Hamels today.
Matt Cain, whose contract is what the Phillies will base their contract off of, will face Hamels today on National TV, a 4:05 game on FOX.
Let’s look at what these two pitchers have done this season:
- Hamels: 18 starts, 11-4 record, 3.07 ERA, 125 strikeouts, 1.087 WHIP.
- Cain: 18 starts, 10-3 record, 2.56 ERA, 124 strikeouts, 0.955 WHIP.
Cain, 27, also has a perfect game and two shutouts under his belt this season while Hamels, 28, has none. Cain’s 0.955 WHIP is also the lowest in the Majors.
Cain signed a five-year, $112.5 million deal to stay in San Francisco early in the season. When the deal was inked, people immediately began to compare the two pitchers, trying to decide if Hamels will receive a heftier payday.
With recent reports, it looks like Hamels could make upwards to $138 million over the next six years, but that number isn’t set. Other teams have backed out of trying to acquire Hamels because they feel the Phillies will sign him.
So what will a match up between these two pitchers do? Obviously if Hamels out-pitches Cain and leads his team to a much-needed win it’ll look good in his favor. Add the national spotlight and it will provide the Phillies more insight on his big game abilities.
Then again, Hamels is a proven big game pitcher, winning a World Series and WS MVP. Cain has also won big games, including a World Series.
Could this be Hamels’ last start in Philadelphia? Or will this be the start that brings the two parties together for another six years.
Must Read: Matt Gelb’s link on Philly.com about Cole Hamels and his start today. Gelb basically says the Phillies should take the risk in extending Hamels for six years.
Also, Todd Zolecki’s latest blog up on Zo Zone talking about what moves the Phillies should or shouldn’t make if they do land Hamels.