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October 3, 2011

Cole Hamels


Q. You pitched very well in the post-season on the road. I'm just wondering if there might be a reason for that beyond throwing the ball well. Are there less distractions? Are you more focused? Do you benefit from a less than friendly atmosphere? Anything like that?
COLE HAMELS: I don't know. I think every stadium I pitch in is on the road because my home town is San Diego. No, it's just something, you just get in the mindset of knowing that your hitters are up first. They can set the tempo. I get to kind of get a few more extra minutes to really calm down and focus before I have to go out post -- going right from the bullpen right to your game. You do, you just want to go out there and just -- when you have the fans not really on your side, you kind of just want to bear down a little bit more and just kind of be able to take a game from them.

Q. In a short series like this where everything is tied up, do you feel extra pressure to try to win this game because you don't want to fall down two games to one?
COLE HAMELS: Not necessarily. Every time I go out I try to win, no matter what the circumstance is, five games, seven games, three games or one game. It's just going out there, and I know I have a job to do, I want to go out and I want to have success. But at the same time, it's just the small things that really matter. You just have to go out and make it pitch after pitch, and just try to work on that and go from inning to inning. That's what the pitcher can do, and then just allow your hitters and give your hitters an opportunity to score some runs and keep them in the game.

Q. What advantage is there to facing them in Game 3 when you've seen how Roy (Halladay) and Cliff (Lee) have attacked their lineups and you may be able to pick their brains and see how they approached the hitters there?
COLE HAMELS: I think just because of the fact that we were able to face them just a couple weeks ago, I think we're all pretty fresh on what to do, what type of approach that I'm going to have towards them, what type of approach they're having towards me. You know, it's pretty fairly familiar, so I don't -- I wouldn't necessarily have to say that I was watching Doc (Halladay) and Cliff (Lee) and how they were attacking them because I know we do have different styles of pitching. But it is kind of nice that I was able to face them a couple starts ago just to have that familiarity and what to do and what I succeeded in, what I didn't succeed in in trying to fix things and go from there.

Q. You guys were basically -- the aces were put together for this time of year. Do you still feel like you have an advantage in this series because of what you accomplished this year and the experience you've had in this post-season? And the other question is: You gave up a lot of home runs in September. Is that a concern at all or is there anything you can pinpoint as to why?
COLE HAMELS: I know that being able to have good starting pitchers in the post-season is supposed to be sort of the way of success, but at the same time, the post-season everything is different no matter what you did during the regular season, how well you did, how well you didn't do. You can have your big games in the post-season. But at the same time, it takes a whole team. I know a pitcher can throw up a bunch of zeroes, but if they don't score, then you somewhat did your job, but at the same time you didn't get the win.
I think the second part of the question, I think yes, September is pretty frustrating just for of the fact that every run I did give up was because of a home run. And the mistakes that I made, they weren't just getting doubles or singles, they were hitting them out. Just trying to correct that, because like it's been seen, the home runs can definitely kill you, especially in the post-season, can definitely take the wind out of your sails. Just going to try to make better pitches in better locations and be a lot smarter.

Q. October of 2008 was obviously a very special time for you. What do you think the biggest difference between you then and now would be?
COLE HAMELS: You know, obviously I have a couple more years under my belt, success, failure. I've gotten that. I think I've become a better pitcher, so I think that kind of helps out with knowing how to pitch. I've added some pitches.
I think '08 it was just more of sometimes you just have blind luck. And it's like it's said, the post-season things are different, and I just happened to be on my game and everything was just working, and I was able to get the runs for me. I didn't really have a really bad inning.
But at that same time, going into the post-seasons after that, I think I just feel like I'm a more complete pitcher now.

Q. I don't mean to belabor the issue, but as you said, the home runs were kind of a big part of September being a little bit frustrating. Can you pinpoint whether it was the angle of the ball, if it was pitch selection, if it was any one thing?
COLE HAMELS: You know, actually I think half of them were bad pitches and half of them were good pitches and they just happened to hit them. I know a couple of the homers I gave up to some big name guys, they happened to just finally get me, and I think that happens in baseball. There were a few, though, I did make some really bad decisions, and the locations weren't the best, probably the pitch wasn't the best, and that's just something that I'm able to fix.
I think I was just a little bit more out of my element and not going to a certain pitch that I knew I could probably get the guy out with and trying something new, and I think that's what I did with a few of the hitters that ended up hitting homers.

Q. In the post-season you're that much more careful?
COLE HAMELS: Yeah, I think any time in the post-season, one pitch can really decide the fate of a game. So I'm definitely going to be more careful, but at the same time I am going to be aggressive.

Q. What makes their lineup so effective? They led the league in runs. And what do you hope to avoid?
COLE HAMELS: I think they have a great hitting coach. I think ever since they've got Big Mac (McGwire) over there, their lineup has done outstanding, and especially with not having Holliday in their lineup as much as he normally is, and the struggles of what Albert (Pujols) had in the beginning of the season, they've definitely come full circle and been able to be really good hitters.
It's just trying to -- I think their lineup, they definitely know how to manufacture hit after hit after hit, and I think that's how they really get you going. They don't just survive off the long ball, even though they're capable of doing that. They definitely know how to play small ball.
I think it's just making good pitches, and we do have one of the top defenses, so just letting our guys field the ball, and making plays. I think -- what was the second part of the question?

Q. You answered them both.
COLE HAMELS: Okay. That's pretty much it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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