I don't profess to know the secret to being a successful major league pitcher, but there are a few common sense approaches Cole Hamels needs to follow tonight.
We've all recognized Hamels' need for a third pitch, which isn't going to happen until the offseason. The Inquirer's Jim Salisbury wrote today that Hamels will work on adding a cutter or slider, in addition to improving his rarely effective curveball. So tonight, the Yankees will know what's coming: fastball-change. There's no getting around it. So it's going to be important for Hamels to set a few goals. Throw the first pitch for strikes. That's a simple one. Pitchers who do it have success. Next, he needs to understand that he's going to give up some cheapies and he needs to get over it. Contact isn't the enemy when he's got a defense this good. Next, keep the ball down. He's given up six home runs already this postseason. Finally, toughen up. Be aggressive. Don't be too fine. Seems simple, right? Let's hope.