Cole Hamels was a Rocco Baldelli homer away from being the first pitcher to win five postseason games. No matter. Hamels was the World Series MVP. He didn't pitch last night, but every time he pitched, the Phils won - even in games that started on a Monday and ended on a Wednesday.
"I'm definitely going to have to enjoy this moment, because there are a lot of times you don't have everything go your way," Hamels said. "I was just fortunate enough to, I guess, be on the good ends of these victories and winning a trophy.
"But truly it was the teammates behind me that really helped me through these times. They're the ones that scored the runs. They put up runs in the first inning and that makes my job easy, it really does. It makes things - all the excitement and stress that come along with this game kind of fades it away to a point so that you can go out there and relax and just throw, because you know the guys are going to score, and you know that you have that confidence that our bullpen is going to seal the deal in the end, too."
Now, there are 1980 and 2008. And Hamels knows it.
"I think when we come back, when we're all old and retired and we come back and they still stand up and give us a standing ovation, just like they did to all the guys of the 1980 World Series," Hamels said. "We've got to witness that, and knowing that and seeing the city and the excitement throughout the first game of the season this year, throughout the multiple sellouts and of course the playoff excitement was just really huge. I really think the fans stepped up. They could taste it just as much as we could. And they added to our confidence to go out there and win."
And win they did. Even though Hamels was never in the game last night, he felt like he was.
"Shoot, I was telling myself I was still in the game," Hamels said. "I was hoping Charlie [Manuel] might put me in to hit."
No hitting. No pitching. Just celebrating.
"I know people will look at me differently, expect probably more out of me," Hamels said. "But I truly know that all the hard work that I go out and I do, to come away with a World Series ring is more important to me than an MVP, because truly I'm one of 25 guys on the team."
He is and he isn't. These Phillies don't win without Hamels.
"All [the Phillies] asked of me is to go out and play this game that I enjoy and that I die for every day," Cole Hamels said on the night he was named World Series MVP. *