In a lost season for the Phillies where positives are hard to come by, there might be a silver lining in that ace Cole Hamels may have finally solved his kryptonite.
After years of massive struggles against the New York Mets, it appears Hamels has at last figured out how to pitch against the National League East rival.
To the charts we go!
|Date||Stadium||IP||ER||Score||Winning Team||Decision||QS||Career Record vs. Mets||Career ERA vs. Mets|
|8/14/2006||CBP||8||0||13 — 0||Phillies||Win||Yes||1 W, 0 L||0|
|4/9/2007||Shea||6||3||11 — 5||Mets||None||Yes||1 W, 0 L||1.8|
|6/7/2007||Shea||7||3||6 — 3||Phillies||None||Yes||1 W, 0 L||2.57|
|6/29/2007||CBP||5||3||5 — 2||Mets||Loss||No||1 W, 1 L||3.12|
|4/18/2008||CBP||7||4||6 — 4||Mets||Loss||No||1 W, 2 L||3.55|
|9/7/2008||Shea||5||4||6 — 3||Mets||Loss||No||1 W, 3 L||4.02|
|6/10/2009||Citi Field||5||4||5 — 4||Phillies||None||No||1 W, 3 L||4.4|
|8/21/2009||Citi Field||5||4||4 — 2||Mets||Loss||No||1 W, 4 L||4.69|
|9/11/2009||CBP||6.2||1||4 — 2||Phillies||Win||Yes||2 W, 4 L||4.28|
|5/27/2010||Citi Field||6.1||2||3 — 0||Mets||Loss||Yes||2 W, 5 L||4.13|
|8/7/2010||CBP||7||1||1 — 0||Mets||Loss||Yes||2 W, 6 L||3.84|
|8/13/2010||Citi Field||8||1||1 — 0||Mets||Loss||Yes||2 W, 7 L||3.55|
|9/26/2010||CBP||4||5||7 — 3||Mets||Loss||No||2 W, 8 L||3.94|
|4/5/2011||CBP||2.2||6||7 — 1||Mets||Loss||No||2 W, 9 L||4.46|
|5/28/2011||Citi Field||7||2||5 — 2||Phillies||Win||Yes||3 W, 9 L||4.31|
|7/16/2011||Citi Field||4.1||7||11 — 2||Mets||Loss||No||3 W, 10 L||4.79|
|9/24/2011||Citi Field||7||1||2 — 1||Mets||None||Yes||3 W, 10 L||4.54|
|4/15/2012||CBP||7||2||8 — 2||Phillies||Win||Yes||4 W, 10 L||4.41|
|5/28/2012||Citi Field||8||4||8 — 4||Phillies||Win||No||5 W, 10 L||4.42|
|7/5/2012||Citi Field||7||4||6 — 5||Mets||None||No||5 W, 10 L||4.46|
|9/19/2012||Citi Field||6||2||3 — 2||Phillies||None||Yes||5 W, 10 L||4.4|
|4/28/2013||Citi Field||6||1||5 — 1||Phillies||Win||Yes||6 W, 10 L||4.27|
|6/21/2013||CBP||6||4||4 — 3||Mets||Loss||No||6 W, 11 L||4.4|
|7/20/2013||Citi Field||5||4||5 — 4||Mets||Loss||No||6 W, 12 L||4.53|
|8/28/2013||Citi Field||7||2||6 — 2||Phillies||Win||Yes||7 W, 12 L||4.44|
|9/20/2013||CBP||7||6||6 — 4||Mets||Loss||No||7W, 13 L||4.59|
|4/29/2014||CBP||4.2||6||6 — 1||Mets||Loss||No||7 W, 14 L||4.79|
|5/11/2014||Citi Field||7||1||5 — 4||Mets||None||Yes||7 W, 14 L||4.64|
|6/1/2014||CBP||7||1||4 — 3||Mets||None||Yes||7 W, 14 L||4.51|
|7/29/2014||Citi Field||8||0||6 — 0||Phillies||Win||Yes||8 W, 14 L||4.31|
|8/9/2014||CBP||7||1||2 — 1||Mets||None||Yes||8 W, 14 L||4.21|
What we have here is a mess of data that covers nine years, three stadiums between the two teams, five managers, six NL East titles, and on a wider scale, two different presidencies.
Let’s pull some relevant numbers:
- 31 total starts
- Phillies are 11-20 in those 31 starts
- 17 quality starts
- Four starts where earned runs have been higher than innings pitched
- Four quality starts in five games against the Mets in 2014 including four consecutive outings
- The four consecutive quality starts streak ties a personal record against the Mets
- 2.40 ERA against the Mets in 2014. (0.93 ERA last four outings)
- Current career ERA vs. Mets lowered by .38 since the start of the season and by .58 over the last four starts.
- Current career 4.21 ERA vs. Mets is lowest it has been since September 2010.
You might not think all of this is a big deal, but I’m telling you that it is. This is not some Drew Balis created narrative. Hamels’ problems against the Mets have been a real issue and acknowledged by mainstream media, specifically this CSN Philly piece by Corey Seidman from late April.
While I would like a bit of a larger sample size to make my point, four near lights out starts will get the job done here. There have been times earlier in his career where Hamels has been going great only to be tripped up when drawing the Mets, and that isn’t the case right now.
Why is it significant going forward though?
It’s important because Hamels has started four games against the Mets every season dating back to 2010 and already has five this year, and the Phillies have yet another series against them at the end of the month.
Whenever the Phillies face their NL East rival, there is a 60 percent chance that Hamels will pitch in a three-game series.
It also matters because as much as I hate to admit it, the Mets are pretty close to being a much improved team. Their rotation next season will feature Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.
Right now, the Mets lead the Phillies by four games. If the Phils want to escape the division cellar in coming seasons and snap out of this three year malaise, their number one starter is going to have to beat other teams in the NL East.
The Phillies are still 1-4 in Hamels’ starts against the Mets this season, but run support is now the sole problem as opposed to Hamels himself contributing to the poor record in the past.
If the Phillies can ever return to prominence over the next decade, the left arm of their homegrown ace will be a driving force, and beating the Mets, who figure to be contenders, will certainly be significant.
Much of the talk on Twitter has been about how dominant Hamels has been over the past two months, but after nearly a decade of watching him every fifth day, we already knew he was capable of that. We did not know, however, that he was capable of consistently pitching well against the Mets.
Now we know.
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