That’s what Cole Hamels said in an interview with Comcast, and indeed, certain Phillies seem like they’ve kicked it into a higher gear.
It’s weird which October moments you remember most. One series I remember vividly is 2003 between the Wild Card Marlins and the heavily favored Yankees. With guys like Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Dontrelle Willis, Carl Pavano, Juan Pierre, Mike Lowell, Pudge Rodriguez and a newborn baby named Miguel Cabrera, it was like the Marlins were set at a different speed. The Yankees looked like old men in comparison. Everyone watched Florida’s young staff in astonishment that pitchers could throw the ball that hard for that long.
It was déjà vu watching Ryan Madson dial it up to 97 last night in the eighth. I'll never forget it. I thought his arm might snap. Just look at that arm (pictured upper right).
There’s something to be said about experience, but more and more, it's like squads ride their veterans through the regular season then turn it over to the newer models designed to handle the extra miles. Or, in the case of the Rays, you feast on the man-flesh of the baseball world using the kids from start to finish (As I write this, B.J. Upton smokes one over the Green Monster to put Tampa Bay on top of Boston 2-0).
I would be curious to know which pitcher the Phils would have turned to in Game 7, Jamie Moyer or Joe Blanton. The pace of the post-season is even slower than the pace Moyer likes to set against impatient, young prey like the Nationals. But in October, teams are well scouted and both the Brewers and Dodgers knew what to expect.
Experience is dandy, but sometimes, being young at heart isn’t as good as being young all over. Shane Victorino is one high-motor player having the time of his life. Carlos Ruiz, too. Chase Utley, who’s young enough to fit the bill, could have been argued as MVP of the NLCS. Hamels deservedly won MVP, but despite having youth on his side, pitched his type of game all of his starts. Madson, who's pitching like he was put on earth to make hitters look foolish, has been a revelation.
It's interesting to see who's on the outside looking in. Chris Coste won't start a game this October. Neither will Geoff Jenkins. J.A. Happ will probably keep his spot over the older Rudy Seanez.
Nevertheless, sometimes being young at heart is all you need. Just ask 40 year old Matt Stairs, who did not hold back.