Cole Hamels threw 95 pitches during the Chicago Cubs’ 4-3 road loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. However, the lefty saved his best fastball for after the game.
That’s when Hamels buzzed Brewers fans for allowing the Cubs’ faithful to take over Miller Park in what is supposed to be a heated “rivalry.”
“I mean, that's kinda tough. I know the rivalries I've had in the past — you can definitely feel it,” Hamels said to reporters after he allowed two runs during six innings of work. “When you have majority Cubs fans in the stands, I don't know if that's a rivalry yet. I've been in rivalries. They're not gonna like me for the comment, but you can look at the ticket sales.
“I think when they start getting a little bit closer and their fans sell out, then I think that's kind of the understanding. But the Cubs fans travel well. They were representing us pretty well. I think it's just a matter of us going out there and playing hard.
“It's no [knock] on who they have in their dugout — they have great players and I know those guys wanna win. But in this game of baseball, you want to be able to see the fans in the stands. And obviously that's where you feel it the most. So to be able to have the Cubs fans travel in the masses that they do, it's great to see.”
How does Hamels know so much about real rivalries and what it means to have your supporters with you on the road? From his days donning red pinstripes, of course.
The former Phillies ace credited fans here with showing him how to take over an opponent’s stadium.
“I was able to see that in Philly when we would come down and play in Washington,” Hamels said. “The Phillies fans would come down in droves. And it would be predominantly Phillies fans in Washington's stadium. That's just kinda the nature of where it is. That's probably not gonna sit too well with them, but I think they probably observed it just as well as I did.”
When you’re as hot as Hamels, you can say what you want. Despite the Cubs’ loss, he is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA since joining the club.
As for the Brewers’ fans, they’ll have some work to do if they hope to change the 34-year-old’s mind. After all, he is used to dealing with some of the best fans on the planet.
“As much appreciation as I have for the city, it's mutual,” Hamels said about Philadelphia this past weekend during a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park (see story). “This is a tremendous place to play. To win here was absolutely amazing. There aren't enough words to describe that sort of experience.”
Apparently, there are plenty of words to describe Brewers fans.