Hamels Tabbed For Opening Night

It isn't a surprise. However, in the past Charlie Manuel has waited deep into spring training before announcing the Opening Day starter. It's the first day of spring training, and Manuel already made his decision.

"Yeah, you might as well go ahead and pencil [Cole Hamels] in," Manuel said. “I
don’t think there’s any sense in me playing games. Go ahead, pencil him in."

Hamels was excited to hear the news, but knows he must be ready for the opportunity.

"So if I'm not feeling right and I need a couple extra days, I will definitely
pass it down to anybody. I'm all about benefiting the team. But with him saying
that, that’s my goal. That's what I’m going to strive for — April 5. Be as
healthy as I can, be as strong as I can and go out there and win the first

Hamels is undoubtedly the Phillies ace. Last season, he was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He pitched over 127 innings and struck out 196 batters. In the postseason, Hamels was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA.

Hamels is honored to start, but it won't compare to starting Game 1 of the World Series.

"It won't -- I know it won't," Hamels said. "It never will. I think starting
Game 1 of the World Series is pretty much the top. I'd like to do that this
year. I'd rather be the No. 1 starter for the World Series. Then I'm happy. Now,
we've just got to get there."

QUOTE SOURCE: Phillies.com


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