He had every reason to reveal an ego. This season was an unequivocal disappointment for everyone involved. On an individual level, there were few exceptions. Hamels was one.
He kept talking.
"But I'm happy I'm going to be on this team," Hamels said. "I like all of the possibilities that we have."
It revolves around Hamels, the highest-paid player in Philadelphia history starting next April, when his new contract activates. This season, Hamels (17-6) reached a career high in strikeouts (216) and finished with a 3.05 earned run average. He averaged seven innings per start. He made every turn but one, and that was because of a stomach illness.
He turns 29 in December.
"I realize there could be quite a bit more," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's what got him a good deal. That's what got him the future he has with us."
Hamels is the first Phillies pitcher to make 30 starts in five consecutive seasons since Steve Carlton did it in nine straight from 1972 to '80. Only two modern-era Phillies - Robin Roberts and Chris Short - posted a lower earned run average in their first seven seasons than Hamels. His career ERA is 3.34.
"I like being consistent," Hamels said. "At the same time, the numbers, they can be better. And I'd rather be consistent on a better basis than anything. There's always improvement you can have.
"When you improve, then you want to stick to numbers in the top echelon of guys. Even though you might be at the cusp of it, I'd rather be at the top. And that's what I worked toward. I still think I have room to improve."
There is plenty of time, too. When Hamels' contract expires, he will be younger than Roy Halladay currently is. The unnatural act of throwing a baseball offers zero guarantees. Retaining Hamels during his prime years is close to one.
On Sunday, he was dominant early. One stroll through the Marlins lineup yielded no balls hit out of the infield. The Phillies scored three runs in a 19-minute first inning. Hamels promptly took the ball, threw 16 pitches, and struck out the side.
The next time he takes the mound in a meaningful game, it could be in Atlanta as the Phillies' opening-day starter in 2013.
"I don't know," Manuel said. "That's way too far ahead. A lot happens over the winter, spring training, everything. I've got at least three real possibilities for opening-day starter. Hamels definitely, the season he's had and the way he's pitching, he's got to be up there at the top."
There was a time this summer when Hamels' future was decidedly unknown. He pitched through the contract and trade talk.
"I have a job to do, and I enjoy doing it," Hamels said. "And I'm going to do it to the best as I possibly can."
In an otherwise glum season, he fulfilled his end of the bargain.
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @magelb.