Cole Hamels has pitched at least seven innings in each of his first six starts, becoming the first Phillies pitcher to do so since Curt Schilling, who did it 11 times to begin 1998, according to the pre-game notes.
As everyone knows, I love MLB.com’s “Press Pass,” the feature that allows free access to the official pre-game notes for all 30 teams. There's a link to it on the left. These are the same notes given out to beat writers, broadcasters and scouts, but they’re especially useful for sites like this one to flesh out a quick pre-game entry. And by “flesh out” I mean "cut and paste the pre-game entry."
I’ve used just about every team’s notes, and I’ve gotta say, the Phils have one of the best sets available: simple, seamlessly organized, well written, and bursting with timely information. Page 1 is the best part. If you can get around the positive spin, which sweetens the entire document down to the last Durbin, it manages to trap the latest trends into a couple short graphs and put them into a historical perspective, like Hamels and the example above.
In so many words, the Schilling tidbit illustrates what a fine career Hamels has had, and also how long we’ve been deprived of a pitcher this good. In my 30 years, it's gone Steve Carlton, Curt Schilling and Cole Hamels, in equal intervals, basically.