Charlie Manuel met the media today as the teams worked out in San Francisco. He was asked about the difference between Cole Hamels this year and last year.
Like from last year he's bigger, he's stronger. He's added a cutter. His fastball, his velocity is up from last year. Basically he sits there right now I'd say he sits there like 92, 94, 95 consistently, and whereas before he was like 88, 92. And I think the cutter's helped him. But I think he's grown up a lot from just the part of the experience of going through a tough year. And I think the fact that you put him on the team we added Roy Halladay and I think he's got a better work routine, learned a lot from Roy. And Hamels has always been a mentally tough guy. He's always loved to pitch. And I think last year he put he definitely put a lot of expectation on himself. And also it was kind of a different year for him. Came to Spring Training on a short winter had a sore elbow coming out of Spring Training. People talk about his conditioning, but at the same time he had a sore elbow coming out of Spring Training, and he seemed like things really had a bad year. He had a hard luck year. He would get hit on the shoulder with a line drive, turn his ankle. Just seemed like everything bad happened to him. Then he would get in innings that he couldn't get out of. He got into an inning here where he had I think through four innings I think he had one hit or something like that, all of a sudden he's got two outs and nobody on and a pitcher ends up getting a hit on him and he ran up a lot of pitches and he got knocked out of the game, too. That was kind of how his season went. And he's gotten over all that.
Manuel gave his thoughts on Giants game three starter Matt Cain.
He's tremendous. There again, I would say Matt Cain's command, I noticed that the last few times he's been out, or the second half of the season, he's really had good command of his change up. He has good stuff. He grades out real high across the board. And he's a front line pitcher, as everyone knows. But at the same time we've got to make him throw strikes and better his command on both sides of the plate. That's what's going to dictate how he does.
He also addressed the pitching matchup in game three between Hamels and Cain and the series in general.
I think when we go 1 and 1 right now and you're sitting there and you've got Cain and Hamels going tomorrow, I think in the swing game, I think you won't see that three days in a row, six pitchers that start the game that good. I think that's rare. And I think it's going to be a heck of a game. I think the Giants are here because they're pitching, and I think we're here basically because of our pitching, because our offense kind of sputtered this year but at the same time we're still capable of scoring a lot of runs. But it's going to be so far it's been two great games. It's going to be a heck of a series.