With Curt Schilling and John Smoltz both close to retirement, the torch for baseball's best playoff pitcher is ready to be passed.
Cole Hamels, step right up!
Hamels certainly made his case to succeed Smoltz and Schilling as the pitching version of "Mr. October" during the 2008 post-season.
Hamels started off by dominating the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, allowing only three runners in eight shutout innings for a Phillies 3-1 victory.
The Phillies' southpaw was only getting warmed up.
In the NLCS, Hamels mowed down the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 1.93 ERA, surrendering only three earned runs over 14 total innings.
Hamels was the winning pitcher in both the opener and the clinching game, winning the NLCS MVP for keeping Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in check.
Upon facing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, the Cinderella story didn't faze him.
Hamels made two starts against the Rays, allowing two earned runs in each outing and coming through in the clutch to help the Phillies win both games.
Hamels outdueled Scott Kazmir, the winning pitcher of the All-Star Game, in the opening game, winning a 3-2 duel at Tropicana Field.
Pitching again in Game 5, Hamels pitched six solid innings, giving the Phillies enough to win the game and the World Series.
The Phillies' ace was named the World Series MVP, making him the fifth player to win two post-season MVP awards in the same year.
In addition to his playoff success, Hamels isn't too shabby in the regular season either.
The All-Star pitcher has won 29 games over the past two seasons, compiling a 3.22 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
Luckily for the Phillies, they signed the 25 year-old Hamels to a three-year, $20.5 million contract extension, avoiding arbitration with their star until 2011.
As long as Hamels is at the top of Philadelphia's starting rotation, the Phillies will be contenders in the NL pennant race.