Colbert Michael Hamels (born December 27, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2006 to 2015, and the Texas Rangers from 2015 to 2018.
Originally from San Diego, California, Hamels excelled in Rancho Bernardo High School both academically and athletically. The Phillies drafted him out of high school in the first round of the 2002 MLB Draft (17th), and he began his career in the Phillies minor league system. Numerous issues, including an injury sustained in a bar fight as well as other injuries, occurred during his first few minor league seasons. Having reached the Triple-A level, he was the top pitcher in the Phillies' minor league system in 2006.
In May 2006, Hamels made his major league debut for the Phillies. After securing a long-term spot as a member of the Phillies starting rotation in his rookie season, he made large strides in the 2007 Major League Baseball season and won the Phillies' top major league pitcher award. He was the top pitcher on the team entering the 2008 season, and during the Phillies' postseason run, during which they ultimately won the 2008 World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, he won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. After the 2008 season, Hamels signed a three-year contract with the Phillies. His statistics declined over the next two seasons, struggling through a tumultuous 2009 campaign and somewhat bouncing back in 2010, however still not approaching his 2008 numbers. Over the next few seasons, Hamels was joined by fellow All-Star pitchers including Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt and flourished with them, putting up some of his top career seasons before suffering from poor run support in 2013. With the decline of his aging teammates, the team missed the postseason for the next few years, but Hamels remained one of the Phillies' consistent stars. Hamels was traded to the Texas Rangers in 2015, and he subsequently sparked their run to the AL West title that season. He spent parts of four seasons with the Rangers, including an All-Star season in 2016, before being traded to the Cubs in 2018.
Hamels with the Rangers in 2016
|Chicago Cubs – No. 35|
|Born: December 27, 1983|
San Diego, California
|May 12, 2006, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|MLB statistics |
(through June 28, 2019)
|Earned run average||3.38|
|Career highlights and awards|
Hamels attended Meadowbrook Middle School and Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. He was a "gifted student", and scored a 1510 (out of 1600) on the SAT. Scouts were interested in Hamels while he was in high school primarily because his fastball was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour (151 km/h), and his secondary offerings were considered advanced. However, some teams lost interest when Hamels broke his left humerus during his sophomore year. Nonetheless, Hamels was drafted in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, who held the 17th overall selection.
Hamels began his professional baseball career in 2003, pitching for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League. Later that season, he was promoted to the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. He finished the year by receiving the Paul Owens Award, given to the best pitcher in the Phillies' minor league system.
During the next two seasons, however, Hamels suffered through several injuries, and pitched only sparingly. He missed most of the 2004 season with elbow tendinitis, making only four starts. In 2005, he broke his pitching hand in a bar fight before the season began; after rehabilitation, he was assigned to Clearwater. In July, the Phillies promoted him to the Class AA Reading Phillies of the Eastern League, where he surrendered the first home run of his professional career in his first start. Subsequently, he was shut down for the remainder of the season with back spasms.:84
In 2006, a healthy Hamels started again at Clearwater, and after a brief stint in Reading, he was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons of the Class AAA International League. In three games at Scranton, he struck out 36 batters while giving up only one walk and one run. His minor league statistics included a record of 14–4 with a 1.43 ERA and 273 strikeouts in 35 games pitched. For his performance, the Phillies promoted him to the major league club.:84
Hamels was called up to the Philadelphia Phillies in May 2006. In his Major League Baseball debut on May 12, he pitched five scoreless innings, allowed one hit, struck out seven batters and walked five while earning a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds. In his second career start, Hamels was dominant until the seventh inning, during which he was pulled after he allowed several baserunners, but again received a no-decision. A shoulder injury scratched Hamels from the lineup of what would have originally been his third major league start. He was put on the 15-day disabled list and returned on June 6 to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10–1 for his first Major League victory. On August 14, 2006, Hamels had his best start of his rookie season, shutting out the New York Mets over eight innings and striking out nine in the Phillies' 13–0 victory. He finished his rookie season with a 9–8 record, a 4.08 earned run average (ERA), and 145 strikeouts (third among NL rookies) in 132 1⁄3 innings (sixth among NL rookies).:84
Hamels entered the 2007 season having done significant work in the weight room in the offseason and at spring training. His tenacity came to fruition when, on April 21, 2007, Hamels pitched his first major league complete game, allowing one run on five hits and two walks while setting a career high with 15 strikeouts. Just three days before, the Phillies moved their opening day starter Brett Myers to the bullpen to be the closer, making Hamels the team's number one starter. On May 16, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, but then walked leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks and surrendered a home run to the next batter, J. J. Hardy.
For his strong performance during the first half of the season, Hamels was, for the first time in his career, selected a member of the NL All Star Team. As Hamels had been the Phillies only consistent starter to that point, even to the point that one columnist said the Phillies are a joke "as long as we are forced to look forward to someone other than Cole Hamels on the mound", the Phillies acquired Kyle Lohse to supplement the rotation soon before the trading deadline. Several weeks later, Hamels was placed on the 15-day disabled list (DL) with a mild left elbow strain. After the Phillies activated him from the DL, on September 28, he helped the Phillies take over first place in the National League East by striking out 13 Washington Nationals over 8 innings in a 6–0 win. Two days later, the team clinched a spot in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. In the first game of the National League Division Series, he started for the Phillies, but surrendered three runs, three hits, and an "uncharacteristic" four walks, while striking out seven in 62⁄3 innings; he was assessed the loss. Ultimately, the Phillies lost the series. Hamels finished with a regular-season record of 15–5, a 3.39 ERA, and 177 strikeouts in 183 1⁄3 innings. The Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America presented him the "Steve Carlton Most Valuable Pitcher" award.
Before the season began in March, Hamels made a complaint about the Phillies underpaying him, saying it was a "low blow" and he was "caught off-guard" with the gap between what he and his agent John Boggs felt was a fair reward for his performance in the previous season and what he was paid (the Phillies paid him US$500,000, barely above the minimum salary for MLB players despite Hamels' strong performance).
Though Hamels was the "clear-cut ace", Charlie Manuel penciled in Brett Myers as the Phillies' opening day starter because Myers accepted his role as closer the preceding season, putting the team ahead of his personal wishes to start.
By the end of April, Hamels led the Phillies in most pitching categories, including wins (3), ERA (2.70), and innings pitched (43⅓). Continuing his dominance into May, Hamels recorded his first career complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves on the 15th of that month. By June, Myers had been demoted to the minor leagues due to his ineffectiveness, leaving Hamels alone atop the rotation. Hamels was snubbed from a selection to the All-Star Game despite strong numbers. For the season, Hamels was 14–10 with a 3.09 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 227 1⁄3 innings; he had the lowest on-base percentage-against (OBP) in the majors at .272. FanGraphs also rated his changeup as the most effective in the majors.
Hamels pitched in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Brewers, pitching "eight spectacular two-hit shutout innings" during which he struck out nine hitters, notching his first career playoff win, and the Phillies' first playoff win since 1993.:49 He commented, "I knew the importance of the game. 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.":51 He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the National League Championship Series, going 2–0 in the NLCS with a 1.93 ERA and winning the series clincher on October 15 in Los Angeles.
Hamels was selected the Phillies starter for Game 1 of the World Series; the Phillies won 3–2, and Hamels earned his fourth win of the postseason. Hamels also started Game 5, which was suspended due to rain after the top of the sixth inning tied at 2-2, and receiving a no-decision; when Game 5 resumed the Phillies won 4-3 to clinch the World Series. Overall, Hamels made five postseason starts in 2008, going 4–0 with a 1.80 ERA. Hamels threw a total of 35 innings during the postseason, and held opponents scoreless in 28 of them; he never allowed more than one run in any of the seven innings in which he did not hold opponents scoreless.:217 Hamels was named the 2008 World Series MVP.
Subsequently, Jayson Stark wrote,
The names on the list are the names who have carved their legends in the month of October ... We know their names because October was their kind of month, and they belong on that list because they once did something very few pitchers have ever done. They all won four starts in the same postseason. And now they have company ... a 24-year-old left-hander named Cole Hamels. And with every time the Phillies handed him the baseball in October 2009, it became more apparent that he is one of the sports' most special talents.— Stark in Worth the Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies:157
The Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America presented him the "Steve Carlton Most Valuable Pitcher" award for the second consecutive year.
Hamels started his 2009 season by signing a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Phillies. On February 14, the first day of spring training for pitchers and catchers, when asked who the Opening Day starter would be, manager Charlie Manuel responded, "Yeah, you might as well go ahead and pencil him in. I don't think there's any sense in me playing games. Go ahead, pencil him in."
However, Hamels left spring training on March 16 after feeling tightness between innings, and flew to Philadelphia to have his left elbow examined by Dr. Michael Ciccotti. "This will obviously set me back a couple of days, and I don't think that should be a big deal", said Hamels. Ciccotti found no structural damage in his arm, yet Hamels still did not pitch on Opening Day as expected; Myers did for the third consecutive season. For the first time in his career, he went winless in his first four starts, and left back-to-back starts early due to injury in late April, sustaining a left-shoulder contusion and an ankle sprain respectively. From June on, however, he returned to his previous form, recording two complete-game shutouts (tied for the NL-lead), striking out at least 10 batters in two separate games, and amassing a 21-inning scoreless streak from August 21 to September 6, while allowing just two home runs in his final eight starts. In July, the Phillies augmented their starting rotation by acquiring two former Cy Young Award winners in Cliff Lee and Pedro Martínez from a trade and a free agent signing respectively. Due to his early season injury struggles, Hamels posted a 10–11 record and a 4.32 ERA in the regular season, his first major league season in which he posted a sub-.500 record, and the worst ERA of his career to that point.
Hamels started Game 2 of the 2009 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, allowing four earned runs through five innings to take the loss. Nevertheless, the Phillies won the series, three games to one. He earned the win in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series as the Phillies beat the Dodgers, 8–6. Hamels started Game 3 of the World Series against the New York Yankees, pitching 4 1⁄3 innings, allowing 5 earned runs and taking the loss as the Yankees won that game 8-5. Afterward, he told reporters, "I can't wait for it (the season) to end. It's been mentally draining. It's one of those things where, a year in, you just can't wait for a fresh start", comments that were criticized by manager Charlie Manuel but otherwise largely regarded as speaking out of frustration. Later in the series, after the Phillies won game five, a confrontational Brett Myers mockingly asked Hamels: "What are you doing here? I thought you quit." Years later, in 2018, Hamels joked that Yankee fans love him due to the face that he helped them win the series. The Phillies lost the series to the New York Yankees in six games.
Last October, everybody was ready to anoint Hamels some sort of superhero. This was largely because he went 4–0 during the Phillies' championship run, but also because he went 14–10 with a 3.09 ERA during the regular season. Last season, Hamels' strikeout-to-walk ratio was 3.7; this year it's 3.8. Last year, Hamels gave up 1.1 home runs per nine innings; this year he's given up 1.3 homers per nine. The only real difference between the 2008 Hamels and the 2009 Hamels is luck.
Phillies' pitching coach Rich Dubee and Hamels himself blamed Hamels' demeanor for some of his decline, noting, "He is such a perfectionist...his approach wasn't very good last year. His success won't come back until his demeanor changes" and "The more angry you get, it's that much tougher to execute your next pitch. I think I let [expectations] get to me" respectively.
Entering the 2010 season, the Phillies traded away Cliff Lee, but in doing so, acquired Roy Halladay in a "mega-trade". They did not re-sign Myers, and Halladay was named the Phillies' opening day starter. Among Hamels' season highlights were a start on June 7 against the San Diego Padres during which he threw 61⁄3 innings of no-hit baseball, winning five consecutive starts including three consecutive scoreless starts from late-August to mid-September, and striking out 13 batters, tied for his second-highest career total, on September 13 against the Florida Marlins.
The Phillies finished with the best record in MLB. Hamels started Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds and, for the first time in his postseason career, pitched a complete game shutout. He also became the first pitcher to win a postseason game at Great American Ball Park. The Phillies advanced to the National League Championship Series facing the San Francisco Giants, where Hamels took the loss in Game 3 giving up three runs as the Giants' Matt Cain shutout the Phillies, en route to the Phillies' ultimate elimination in six games.
Statistically, Hamels rebounded from his previous season by posting a 12–11 record with a 3.06 ERA, the latter of which was, at the time, a career-best. He also struck out a career high 211 batters. Throughout the season, he was plagued by a lack of run support; in 1⁄3 of his starts, the Phillies did not score a single run while he was in the game. Moreover, he received the fifth-lowest run support in the NL. Nevertheless, he allowed three or fewer earned runs in 26 of his 33 starts. Jeff Nelson "facetiously" evaluated Hamels' season as follows:
Headcase. Immature. Soft. Unprepared. He wouldn't pitch on three-days rest if asked. He's not a big game pitcher. He sounds like a whiny 7-year old – these were some of the descriptions I heard and read from many Phillies fans following Cole Hamels' disappointing 2009 season. Heck, some people even wanted him traded after what he said during the '09 World Series. To the naked eye, Cole just wasn't right two years ago. Fast forward a year later and Hamels all the sudden 'found his game.' He 'flicked a switch' or 'put his game face on.' He was more prepared heading in to 2010 or he was cured from the Verducci effect.— Jeff Nelson, contributor to Phillies Nation, December 31, 2010
On December 15, 2010, Cliff Lee returned to the Phillies as he signed a free-agent contract with Philadelphia for five years and $120 million with a vesting option for a sixth year. After this signing, the Phillies' starting rotation consisted of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton. This rotation was considered one of the best in pitching history by many. Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, and Hamels were dubbed the 'Phantastic Phour' by fans and the media.
Hamels entered the 2011 season with a large amount of excitement and hype from fans and the media. By the All-Star game, Hamels was 4–3. On July 3, when the rosters for the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona were broadcast on TBS, it was announced that Hamels was voted onto the National League team along with fellow pitchers and teammates Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Plácido Polanco, and Shane Victorino. He was not eligible to play, however, because he had pitched the Sunday prior to the All-Star Game. Hamels shared his dismay with this rule, saying, "It's one of those things where people who don't play the game make the rules."
The Phillies finished with the best record in MLB for the second year in a row. In the 2011 National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Hamels started Game 3 which resulted in a 3-2 win to give the Phillies a 2-1 series lead, however the Phillies would lose Games 4 and 5 to be eliminated.
Hamels finished the 2011 season with a record of 14–9, 194 strikeouts, an ERA of 2.79, and a 0.986 WHIP. He finished fifth in the Cy Young Award voting behind Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Ian Kennedy, respectively.
During the 2011 off-season, Hamels underwent elbow and hernia surgeries. Hamels had missed scheduled starts in August due to a stiff shoulder, and loose bodies were removed from his elbow to fix his problems. Hamels was ready to pitch by the start of Spring training 2012.
On January 17, Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract to avoid arbitration. This was the highest salary ever paid to a pitcher eligible for arbitration before free agency.
On May 6, Hamels was suspended for five games after hitting Bryce Harper in his lower back with a pitch, after admitting that it was intentional. On July 21, 2012, Hamels hit his first career home run off San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who had homered off of him in the top half of the same inning, the first time in MLB since 1990 that two pitchers had hit home runs off of each other in the same inning.
Hamels would stay a Phillie when he agreed to a contract extension on July 24. The six-year, $144 million contract was the second-largest contract ever signed by a pitcher. The deal included a vesting option for 2019 worth $24 million. If the option didn't vest, it would have turned into a club option for $20 million that included a $6 million buyout.
Hamels finished the season with career highs in wins (17) and strikeouts (216), and finished eighth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. His 3.05 ERA ranked second-best in his career (behind only his 2.79 ERA in 2011). The Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America presented him the "Steve Carlton Most Valuable Pitcher" award.
Before the 2013 season in spring training, manager Charlie Manuel named Hamels the 2013 opening day starter, which Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote was a "long time coming". In his first career opening day start on April 1 against the Atlanta Braves, Hamels surrendered five earned runs in five innings and took the loss.
Particularly early in the season, Hamels was plagued by a lack of run support; as of May 27, he had the fifth-lowest in the major leagues. He lost his eighth start on May 27, declining to a record of 1–8, which one Sports Illustrated column attributed more to the Phillies poor offense than Hamels. Nevertheless, it was "easily ... Hamels' worst performance of his eight-year career". Aside from offensive struggles while Hamels was pitching, the Phillies defense struggled, though Hamels kept a positive attitude, once commenting that his luck should improve, as "I've been doing pretty well on the plane in poker." Towards the end of the season, however, Hamels "put it together"; in his final 11 starts. he surrendered more than three runs only once. In total, he amassed an 8–14 record with a 3.60 ERA in 220 innings and 202 strikeouts (sixth in NL). Despite struggles from his teammates, Bill Baer noted that Hamels,
was worse at generating swings and misses. His strikeout rate declined by 2.6 percent and his overall swinging strike rate declined by 2.1 percent. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but consider that opposing hitters swung at 1,774 pitches during the 2013 season. A 2.1 percent decrease means 37 fewer swings and misses. That's a combination of 37 more balls in play or foul balls prolonging an at-bat.— Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley, November 16, 2013
Before the 2014 season, Hamels announced that he would not be ready to pitch on Opening Day because of tendonitis in his biceps. On April 6 Hamels pitched in a Minor League Class A-Advanced game, striking out four while allowing two earned runs on three hits in four innings. He made his first start of the season on April 23.
Despite lack of run support contributing to a poor win-loss record, Hamels was among the best pitchers in the National League, and was even mentioned as a Cy Young candidate. On September 1, Hamels pitched six innings of a Phillies combined no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves. Hamels was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh due to having five walks, a hit-batter, and 108 pitches through six innings. Overall, Hamels was the only consistent star on the Phillies, finished sixth in Cy Young voting, and was frequently mentioned as a candidate to be traded in the offseason to bolster the Phillies' lackluster farm system, after he avoided being dealt at the July trading deadline.
At the start of the 2015 season, there was much focus and speculation regarding trade possibilities surrounding Hamels. The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants expressed interest in trading for him during the 2015 season.
On July 25, 2015, in what would be his final start for the Phillies before being traded, Hamels no-hit the Chicago Cubs 5–0 at Wrigley Field, striking out 13 and only giving up two walks, both to Dexter Fowler and besting the Cubs' Jake Arrieta—himself a no-hit pitcher a month later, on August 30 of that season. It was the first no-hitter against the Cubs since Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, and first at Wrigley since the Cubs' Milt Pappas in 1972. Hamels also joined Vida Blue, Mike Witt, Kent Mercker and Kevin Millwood as no-hit pitchers who also pitched in a combined no-hitter.
On July 31, 2015, Hamels was traded to the Texas Rangers along with Jake Diekman in exchange for Matt Harrison, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, and Jerad Eickhoff. Hamels became the first pitcher to be traded during a regular season after pitching a no-hitter in his final start with the team that traded him. Bert Blyleven had been the last pitcher to pitch a no-hitter in his final start with the team that traded him; after pitching a no-hitter for the Rangers in his final start of the 1977 season, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates that offseason.
With the Rangers, Hamels went 7-1 in 12 starts with a 3.66 ERA. The Rangers were under .500 as late as August 3 but posted a winning record for the remainder of the 2015 season and eventually overtook the Houston Astros in September for the American League West division lead. The Rangers clinched the AL West title on the final day of the season, as Hamels threw a complete-game three-hitter in a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels, the team's 6th division title and 7th postseason appearance in franchise history. Hamels' positive effect on the Rangers was compared to that of the Toronto Blue Jays' David Price, another ace starting pitcher who helped spearhead a run to the postseason after blending in seamlessly with a struggling team who acquired him at the trade deadline.
The Rangers lost to the Blue Jays in five games in the Division Series after squandering a 2-0 series lead. Hamels received a no-decision in Game 2 as he left the game tied, but the Rangers won in 14 innings. Hamels started Game 5, and was pulled in the bottom of the 7th inning while the Rangers were leading 3-2; the Jays subsequently scored 4 runs to win 6-3, and Hamels was charged with the loss as he was responsible for the runners on base.
Hamels was named the Opening Day starter for the Rangers in 2016. On Opening Day, after allowing two home runs in two innings, Hamels calmed down to pitch 7 strong innings, while only allowing two runs on four hits and eight strikeouts for a 2016 Opening Day win against the Seattle Mariners. On June 12, in a start against Seattle, Hamels recorded his 2,000th career strikeout, becoming the 77th player, and 7th active player, to reach the milestone. He was named to the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. On September 28, at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, Hamels claimed his 200th strikeout of the season.
On May 3, 2017, Hamels was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right oblique muscle. He was ruled out for eight weeks. In 24 starts for the 2017 season, he compiled an 11-6 record and a 4.20 ERA.
Hamels opened the season as the Rangers ace. In 20 starts, Hamels was 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 114 1⁄3 innings.
On July 27, 2018, Hamels was traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Eddie Butler, Rollie Lacy, and Alexander Ovalles. He made his first appearance as a Cub on August 1, striking out nine. He gave up one unearned run and three hits in five innings earning the win. On August 23, Hamels threw a complete game against the Cincinnati Reds, only allowing one run. Through his first five starts with the Cubs he was 4–0 with a 0.79 ERA, and the team won all five of the games. For the season between the two teams, he was 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA, and led the major leagues in hit batsmen, with 19. He also led the majors in giving up the highest percentage of hard-hit balls (41.9%).
Hamels is known throughout baseball for possessing one of the better changeups in the game. In 2012, Fangraphs ranked Hamels as having the fourth best changeup in the game trailing only Jason Vargas, Tommy Milone, and Félix Hernández. The Hardball Times called his changeup a "killer" pitch to right-handed hitters, noting that while it is also effective against left-handed hitters, when they put it in play, they generally have success. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said of Hamels,
It's a difficult task to try to get young guys to throw changeups, because their whole amateur career is spent staring at the scout with the gun. For a young guy to have a good changeup, that's an aptitude right there. It's pitchability.
The development of Hamels' changeup is attributed by his high school pitching coach, Mark Furtak, to the fact that in high school he broke his arm. He could no longer work on his curveball for several months, and was forced to focus on the changeup. Chipper Jones, who was a star-third baseman for the rival Atlanta Braves commented that Hamels is the "best lefthander in the National League ... you have to respect his fastball, and his change-up is devastating. If you're guessing fastball and you get change-up, you're way out in front of it. His change-up is a soft sinker that just falls down." Aside from the changeup, he throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90s (can reach 94 to 96 miles per hour (151 to 154 km/h)), a cutter 87 to 89 miles per hour (140 to 143 km/h), and an "inconsistent" curveball that sometimes loops and other times is sharp, and hovers in the mid-70s (around 73 to 77 miles per hour (117 to 124 km/h)). Prior to the conception and advent of his cutter, he briefly threw a two-seam fastball around 2008 and 2009, before debuting his cutter in 2010. Once he attained a "feel" for how to effectively utilize his cutter, it helped him increase his groundball rate (percentage of balls in play that were groundballs), to over 50 percent in 2011.
Hamels, who is of Dutch descent, is the oldest of three children. He grew up in San Diego, where his parents still live. Cole and his wife, Heidi Strobel, whom he married on December 31, 2006, continue to raise their children in Philadelphia. Strobel was a contestant on the sixth season of the reality show Survivor: The Amazon. They have four children together; two biological sons, Braxton and Caleb, an adopted daughter from Ethiopia named Reeve, and daughter Mackenzie. 
Hamels created and currently runs an organization known as The Hamels Foundation with his wife, Heidi Strobel. The foundation was created in 2008. The Hamels Foundation funds childhood programs in Philadelphia and Africa.
In 2017, Hamels and his wife donated their 32,000 square foot Missouri mansion, valued at an estimated $10 million, to Camp Barnabas, a Christian charity that runs camps for children with special needs and chronic illnesses. Hamels said in a statement, "There are tons of amazing charities in Southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings. Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way."
The 2006 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 124th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second place in the National League East, 12 games behind the New York Mets, and three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Wild-Card race. The Phillies, managed by Charlie Manuel, played their home games at Citizens Bank Park. Phillies first-baseman Ryan Howard was the National League's Most Valuable Player for the 2006 season, and was the winner of the Century 21 Home Run Derby, held during the All-Star Break at Pittsburgh.2007 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 2007 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 125th season in the history of the franchise. It would begin with the Phillies approaching a historic mark. The Phillies started the year with an MLB-record 9,955 losses in franchise history. On July 15, they lost their 10,000th game to the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the first professional sports team in modern history to reach that milestone. The Phillies rallied in the closing days of the season, winning their final game against the Nationals. This win and the New York Mets loss to the Florida Marlins gave them the NL East title, making good on Jimmy Rollins's now famed "we're the team to beat" speech during spring training. They were swept in the opening round of the postseason by the Colorado Rockies.2008 National League Championship Series
The 2008 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2008 National League playoffs, was a best-of-seven baseball game series. The series matched the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies, who had home field advantage for this series due to their better regular-season record. The teams split their season series, with the home team sweeping their two four-game series in August.
The Phillies won the series, four games to one.
The series opened on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, with the series being telecast on Fox.
This series marked the first postseason meeting for the Phillies and Dodgers since the 1983 NLCS, which Philadelphia won 3–1 en route to a loss to Baltimore in the World Series. It also marked the first NLCS for both teams since the Division Series was instituted in 1995. Overall, this was the fourth time these two teams had met in the postseason. Prior to the 1983 NLCS, the Dodgers had defeated the Phillies 3–1 in the NLCS during both the 1977 and 1978 post-seasons.
The Phillies would go on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series in five games.2008 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies' 2008 season was the 126th in the history of the franchise. The team finished with a regular season record of 92–70, first in the National League East. In the post-season, the Phillies won the World Series; this was the first major sports championship for Philadelphia since the 76ers swept the 1983 NBA Finals. During the season, they were managed by Charlie Manuel.
The Phillies opened the season by posting their first winning April since 2003. They also scored 60 runs over 5 games in late May in a sweep over the Colorado Rockies and accrued a 14–4 record over 18 games entering the month of June. The Phillies' performance declined in late June, but they improved after the All-Star break, going 9–6 immediately following the midseason hiatus. Closer Brad Lidge earned eight saves in those games, and did not blow a save throughout the season and the postseason. Philadelphia traded sweeps with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August and went 13–3 in their last 16 games, taking advantage of a late swoon by the New York Mets for the second year in a row to capture the division crown. The team won its position in the playoffs after its second consecutive East Division title. The Phillies also posted the best road record in the National League, at 44–37.Philadelphia defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series (NLDS), 3–1, and the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), 4–1, to win the National League Pennant and advance to the World Series. In the World Series, the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 4–1, to win their first championship in 28 years, ending the Curse of Billy Penn. Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels was named the most valuable player of the NLCS and the World Series.Statistical leaders in batting for the 2008 team included center fielder Shane Victorino (batting average, .293), first baseman Ryan Howard (home runs, 48; runs batted in, 146), and second baseman Chase Utley (runs scored, 113). For their accomplishments, Howard won the Josh Gibson Award for the National League, and Utley won his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award. Pitching leaders included left-handed starting pitcher Hamels (innings pitched, 2271⁄3), left-hander starter Jamie Moyer (wins, 16), and right-handed relief pitcher Lidge (saves, 41). Lidge won the DHL Delivery Man of the Year and the Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year awards for his performance during the season. Victorino and shortstop Jimmy Rollins also won Gold Glove awards for their play in the field.2008 World Series
The 2008 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2008 season. The 104th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies and the American League (AL) champion Tampa Bay Rays; the Phillies won the series, four games to one. The 2008 World Series is notable because it is the only Fall Classic to involve a mid-game suspension and resumption (two days later).
The Series began on Wednesday, October 22, and (after weather delays had postponed the end of Game 5) concluded the following Wednesday, October 29. The AL's 4–3 win in the 2008 All-Star Game gave the Rays home field advantage for the series, meaning no more than three games would be played at the Phillies' stadium Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won their second championship in their 126-year history to bring the city of Philadelphia its first championship in 25 years (since the 1983 NBA Finals). This was the first postseason series lost by an MLB team based in the state of Florida; previously, the Rays and Florida Marlins were 8–0 in post-season series. Additionally, both the Phillies' World Series wins have come against a team making their World Series debut (in 1980, they beat the Kansas City Royals).
The Phillies advanced to the World Series after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL's Divisional Series and Championship Series, respectively. The team won its position in the playoffs after its second consecutive NL East division title. This was the Phillies' first World Series appearance in fifteen years. The Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the World Series after defeating the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox in the AL's Division Series and 2008 American League Championship Series.2013 New York Mets season
The 2013 New York Mets season was the franchise's 52nd season. The Mets hosted the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field, their home for five seasons. The Mets finished the season with a record of 74–88, finishing third in the National League East Division. The season was the Mets' first non-fourth-place finish since 2008. It was also the final season for Ralph Kiner, who had been with their broadcast team since its first season.2013 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies 2013 season was the 131st season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies played their first game of the season against the Atlanta Braves on April 1.2014 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies' 2014 season was the 132nd in the history of the franchise. After a disappointing 2013, the Phillies entered the offseason with a strategy to reload rather than rebuild; they did not want to relinquish the opportunity to do well in 2014 in hopes of being competitive down the road. Commensurate with this strategy, among their key acquisitions were right fielder Marlon Byrd and starting pitcher A. J. Burnett. The Phillies began the season with new coaches (as Ryne Sandberg entered his first season as manager after taking over on an interim basis in August 2013) and new broadcasters; Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs, two members of the 2008 World Series squad, replaced Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews as analysts on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
After offseason headlines indicated a tenuous relationship between Sandberg and shortstop Jimmy Rollins and controversy about draft picks who did not sign with the team, the season began auspiciously with an opening-day win; however, the Phillies then lost their next two games. April continued in that fashion; the team played .500 ball in their first 26 games, exceeding expectations. One commentator called them "pleasantly mediocre", despite a horrific performance from the bullpen. May was a frustrating month for the Phillies; failing to win games they were in a position to win, they posted an 11–16 record and a .230 team batting average (the worst in the National League). June was almost as bad; although the team had 12 wins and 17 losses, the bullpen improved to one of the best in the NL. In the 2014 Major League Baseball draft that month the Phillies selected Aaron Nola as their first-round pick, encouraging optimism from fans and the media. Although the Phillies began July at the bottom of the National League East Division, they amassed a five-game winning streak shortly before the All-Star break. This moved them to within nine games of .500, but they lost the last two games and had a 42–53 record at the break.
As the trade deadline approached, it was speculated that the Phillies would surrender older players to obtain younger ones. They made two deals, neither involving key components of the team. In August they had their best month of the season: a 14–13 record, thanks to strong pitching and adequate hitting. Although the Phillies began September with four pitchers combining for a no-hitter, their month deteriorated from there. The squad had an 11–15 record, finishing the season with 73 wins and 89 losses. Significant personnel changes on the field and in the front office were expected during the offseason.2015 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 2015 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 133rd season in the history of the franchise, and its twelfth season at Citizens Bank Park. The team finished the season with a record of 63–99 (.389), the worst record in the majors, and missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.2019 Chicago Cubs season
The 2019 Chicago Cubs season is the 148th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 144th in the National League and the Cubs' 104th season at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are managed by Joe Maddon, in his fifth year as Cubs manager, and play their home games at Wrigley Field as members of Major League Baseball's National League Central Division.
The Cubs began their season at the Texas Rangers on March 28 and will end their season at the St. Louis Cardinals on September 29.Eddie Butler (baseball)
Timothy Edward Butler (born March 13, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He previously played in Major League Baseball for the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers. He also played in the KBO League for the NC Dinos.Lakewood BlueClaws
The Lakewood BlueClaws are a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies that play in the Class A South Atlantic League. They are based in Lakewood, New Jersey, and their home field is FirstEnergy Park.List of Philadelphia Phillies first-round draft picks
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League East division. Since the institution of Major League Baseball's Rule 4 Draft, the Phillies have selected 49 players in its first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks.Of the 49 players picked in the first round by the Phillies, 25 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 19 of these were right-handed, while 6 were left-handed. Nine players picked in the initial round were outfielders, while six catchers, four first basemen, and three shortstops were selected. The team also selected one player each at second base and third base. Thirteen of the 45 players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, while Texas and Florida follow, with six and five players, respectively.Eight Phillies first-round picks have won a championship with the franchise. Greg Luzinski (1968), Larry Christenson (1972), and Lonnie Smith (1974) were on the roster when the team won the 1980 World Series. Third baseman (later left fielder) Pat Burrell (1998), pitchers Adam Eaton (1996), Brett Myers (1999) and Cole Hamels (2002), and second baseman Chase Utley (2000) were all members of the team during the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship.The Phillies have had five compensatory and seven supplementary picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the prior off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Phillies have failed to sign their first-round pick twice. The first occurrence was in 1965 (Mike Adamson); however, compensatory picks were not awarded at that time. The second occurrence was in 1997, when outfielder J. D. Drew, at the advice of agent Scott Boras, refused to sign a contract worth less than $10 million. Drew sat out of affiliated baseball in 1997, playing instead for the independent St. Paul Saints of the Northern League, and re-entered the 1998 Draft the following year. The Phillies were awarded an additional pick in that draft, with which they selected outfielder Eric Valent.List of Philadelphia Phillies no-hitters
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Philadelphia. They play in the National League East division. Also known in their early years as the "Philadelphia Quakers", pitchers for the Phillies have thrown thirteen separate no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings", though one or more batters "may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat.Of the thirteen no-hitters pitched by Phillies players, three have been won by a score of 6–0, and three by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a Phillies no-hitter was ten runs, in a 10–0 win by Chick Fraser. Charlie Ferguson's no-hitter, the first in franchise history, was a 1–0 victory, as were two of the more recent regular season no-hitters, thrown by Kevin Millwood in 2003 and Roy Halladay in 2010. Three pitchers to throw no-hitters for the Phillies have been left-handed: Johnny Lush (in 1906), Terry Mulholland (in 1990) and Cole Hamels (in 2015). The other eight pitchers were right-handed. Halladay is the only Phillies' pitcher to throw more than one no-hitter in a Phillies uniform, and others, including Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, have pitched more than one in their careers. The longest interval between Phillies no-hitters was between the games pitched by Lush and Bunning, encompassing 58 years, 1 month, and 20 days from May 1, 1906 to June 21, 1964. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between Halladay's two 2010 no-hitters, with a total of merely four months and seven days from May 29 to October 6; the shortest gap between regular-season no-hitters was between Mulholland's and Tommy Greene's games (nine months and eight days from August 15, 1990 to May 23, 1991). Two opponents have been no-hit by the Phillies more than one time: the San Francisco Giants, who were defeated by Mulholland (in 1990) and Millwood (in 2003); and the Cincinnati Reds, who were no-hit by Rick Wise (in 1971) and Halladay (in 2010).
The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. A different umpire presided over each of the Phillies' thirteen no-hitters, including Wes Curry, who created Major League Baseball's catcher interference rule.Two perfect games, a special subcategory of no-hitter, have been pitched in Phillies history. This feat was achieved by Bunning in 1964, which was the first perfect game in the National League since 1880, and Halladay in 2010. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."On July 25, 2015, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels threw his first career no-hitter in a 5–0 win over the Chicago Cubs at the historic Wrigley Field. He narrowly missed completing a perfect game by walking two Cubs batters. Odubel Herrera, Phillies centerfielder, nearly dropped the game's final out at the warning track after he overran a long fly ball hit by Cubs rookie sensation Kris Bryant; Herrera, however, was able to snag the ball with an awkward sliding catch to close out the game and preserve Hamels's no-hitter. In addition to this being Cole Hamels's first no-hitter, this was the fourth no hitter caught by longtime Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, who now has tied the MLB record for no-hitters caught.No-hitter
In baseball, a no-hitter (also known as a no-hit game and colloquially as a no-no) is a game in which a team was not able to record a single hit. Major League Baseball (MLB) officially defines a no-hitter as a completed game in which a team that batted in at least nine innings recorded no hits. A pitcher who prevents the opposing team from achieving a hit is said to have "thrown a no-hitter". This is a rare accomplishment for a pitcher or pitching staff: only 301 have been thrown in Major League Baseball history since 1876, an average of about two per year. In most cases in MLB, no-hitters are recorded by a single pitcher who throws a complete game; one thrown by two or more pitchers is a combined no-hitter. The most recent major league no-hitter by a single pitcher was thrown on May 7, 2019 by Mike Fiers of the Oakland Athletics against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum; this was also the 300th no-hitter in MLB history. The most recent combined no-hitter was thrown on July 12, 2019 by Taylor Cole and Félix Peña of the Los Angeles Angels against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.
It is possible to reach base without a hit, most commonly by a walk, error, or being hit by a pitch. (Other possibilities include the batter reaching first after an uncaught third strike or catcher's interference.) A no-hitter in which no batters reach base at all is a perfect game, a much rarer feat. Because batters can reach base by means other than a hit, a pitcher can throw a no-hitter (though not a perfect game) and still give up runs, and even lose the game, although this is extremely uncommon and most no-hitters are also shutouts. One or more runs were given up in 25 recorded no-hitters in MLB history, most recently by Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 3–1 win at the Cleveland Indians on July 27, 2011. On two occasions, a team has thrown a nine-inning no-hitter and still lost the game. On a further four occasions, a team has thrown a no-hitter for eight innings in a losing effort, but those four games are not officially recognized as no-hitters by Major League Baseball because the outing lasted fewer than nine innings. It is theoretically possible for opposing pitchers to throw no-hitters in the same game, although this has never happened in the majors. Two pitchers, Fred Toney and Hippo Vaughn, completed nine innings of a game on May 2, 1917 without either giving up a hit or a run; Vaughn gave up two hits and a run in the 10th inning, losing the game to Toney, who completed the extra-inning no-hitter.Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a professional baseball team based in Philadelphia, USA. The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park, located in South Philadelphia.
The Phillies have won two World Series championships (against the Kansas City Royals in 1980 and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008) and seven National League pennants, the first of which came in 1915. Since the first modern World Series was played in 1903, the Phillies played 77 consecutive seasons (and 97 seasons from the club's establishment) before they won their first World Series—longer than any other of the 16 teams that made up the major leagues for the first half of the 20th century. They are one of the more successful franchises since the start of the Divisional Era in Major League Baseball. The Phillies have won their division 11 times, which ranks 6th among all teams and 4th in the National League, including five consecutive division titles from 2007 to 2011.
The franchise was founded in Philadelphia in 1883, replacing the team from Worcester, Massachusetts in the National League. The team has played at several stadiums in the city, beginning with Recreation Park and continuing at Baker Bowl; Shibe Park, which was later renamed Connie Mack Stadium in honor of the longtime Philadelphia Athletics manager; Veterans Stadium, and now Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have had a long-running rivalry with the New York Mets.
The team's spring training facilities are located in Clearwater, Florida, where its Class-A minor league affiliate Clearwater Threshers plays at Spectrum Field. Its Double-A affiliate is the Reading Fightin Phils, which plays in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Triple-A affiliate is the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which plays in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Its Low Class-A affiliate the Lakewood BlueClaws play in Lakewood, New Jersey.Philadelphia Phillies annual franchise awards
The Philadelphia Phillies annual franchise awards have been given since 2004 by the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to four members of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise for "season-ending achievements." The awards were created by Bucks County Courier Times Phillies beat writer Randy Miller, who also served as the chairman of the BBWAA's Philadelphia chapter. Winners receive a glass trophy shaped like home plate. In 2014, a fifth award was added: the Charlie Manuel Award for Service and Passion to Baseball.Scott Franzke
Scott Franzke (born March 6, 1972 in Dallas, Texas) is the radio play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.