Thursday, October 30, 2008
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Almost perfect: Hamels wins World Series MVP award

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[October 30, 2008]  PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Cole Hamels won a World Series MVP award Wednesday night without throwing a pitch. Only fitting, because he owned October all the way.

InsuranceHamels made five postseason starts for the Philadelphia Phillies and went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, a dazzling display of pressure pitching that earned him two trophies.

Already the Most Valuable Player of the NL championship series, the lanky lefty duplicated that feat with two terrific starts against Tampa Bay and joined Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (1980) as the only World Series MVPs in Philadelphia history.

"This is something that you have to live for," Hamels said after the Phillies wrapped up the Series with a 4-3 victory in Game 5. "Going out there, I knew I had a job to do."

Hamels outpitched Scott Kazmir for a 3-2 victory in the opener, then tossed six effective innings Monday night before Game 5 was suspended by rain in the middle of the sixth with the score tied 2-all.

The storm ended Hamels' outing after 75 pitches, but he nearly wound up with a win anyway. When the game resumed Wednesday night, Philadelphia went ahead in the bottom of the sixth on Jayson Werth's bloop single.

That put Hamels in position for a record-breaking victory -- on a night when he never took the mound. But the Rays tied it at 3 in the seventh against Philadelphia's bullpen, leaving the 24-year-old with a no-decision.

No matter. The Phillies pulled out the win and Hamels was selected MVP -- just as he was in the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Along with the trophy, Hamels took home a new sports car that he planned to give to his wife who was celebrating her 30th birthday on Wednesday.

Florida pitcher Livan Hernandez was the previous player to win the LCS and World Series MVPs in one postseason, in 1997. Dodgers ace Orel Hershiser did it in 1988.

Hamels finished 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two World Series starts -- almost perfect.

No pitcher has won five starts in one postseason, though Hamels came awfully close. Francisco Rodriguez won five times out of the bullpen for the 2002 Anaheim Angels, and Randy Johnson had five postseason wins for the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks -- but one came in relief against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series.

[Associated Press; By MIKE FITZPATRICK]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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