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2011 NLDS Game 3: Cole’s Turn to Shine

Oct 4, 2011, 4:29 PM EDT

The most comforting fact for Phillies fans should be that former World Series MVP Cole Hamels is throwing for the Fightins in the pivotal game. Not only is Hamels fresh off winning Pete Meckanin's season-long hitting contest, he's also feeling great and is as confident as he's ever been, a better pitcher now than ever before.
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We’ve talked about the importance of winning game 3 of a 5-game divisional series. We’ve talked about Cardinals’ starter Jaime Garcia’s crazy good numbers against the Phillies in four career starts. We’ve pointed out Ryan Howard’s love of destroying baseballs at Busch Stadium.

But the most comforting fact for Phillies fans should be that former World Series MVP Cole Hamels is throwing for the Fightins in the pivotal game this evening. Not only is Hamels fresh off winning Pete Mackanin’s season-long hitting contest, he’s also feeling great and is as confident as he’s ever been, a better pitcher now than ever before.

“I think ’08 it was just more of sometimes you just have blind luck,” Hamels said yesterday of his success en route to the World Series Championship in 2008. “And
it’s like it’s said, the post-season things are different, and I just
happened to be on my game and everything was just working, and I was
able to get the runs for me. I didn’t really have a really bad inning.”

“But at that same time, going into the post-seasons after that, I think I just feel like I’m a more complete pitcher now,” Hamels said.

Roy and Cliff may get more of the love from the fans, but Cole’s the only guy starting for the Phillies this postseason with a World Series ring on his finger.

Time for him to deliver and put the Phillies back in the driver seat. We don’t expect anything less.

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Tonight’s Lineup: 1.) Jimmy Rollins, 2.) Chase Utley, 3.) Hunter Pence, 4.) Ryan Howard, 5.) Shane Victorino, 6.) John Mayberry, 7.) Placido Polanco, 8.) Carlos Ruiz, and 9.) Cole Hamels

For the Cardinals: 1.) Rafael Furcal, 2.) Allen Craig, 3.) Albert Pujols, 4.) Lance Berkman, 5.) David Freese, 6.) Yadier Molina, 7.) Ryan Theriot, 8.) Jon Jay, and 9.) Jamie Garcia

It’s an early 5:07 start time from St. Louis. This is why you watch.