Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels provided a less than stellar September to finish off the 2016 season. Because of this it is warranted to ask the question if Rangers fans should be concerned about their Ace or not.
It is all but official that Cole Hamels will start the first game of the playoffs for the Texas Rangers as they will most likely have the 1 seed. With that seed and the best record in the American League, they will be facing whoever makes it out of the 1 game wildcard playoff matchup.
That wildcard playoff matchup is yet to be set as it could Toronto, Baltimore, or Detroit. Two of those teams will play each other in hopes of winning the opportunity to play the team with the best record in the American League, your Texas Rangers.
But the focus of this article is on Cole Hamels recent struggles and if we should expect them to carry over into the playoffs. Over the last month of September (5 starts) he has pitched 27.2 innings allowing 32 hits, 20 runs (18 earned), 12 bases on balls, 29 strikeouts, and ended with an ERA of 5.86. These numbers are not indicative of the year that Hamels has had and only went 1-1 over those 5 starts while the bullpen recorded wins for the other 3 games.
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On the year Cole Hamels:
- Started 33 games (10th season starting 30+ games)
- Pitched 200.2 innings (7th consecutive year pitching 200+ innings, longest active streak)
- Allowed 185 hits
- Allowed 83 runs (74 earned)
- Recorded 200 strikeouts (5th season recording 200+ strikeouts)
- Ended with an ERA of 3.32
These numbers aren’t too bad but the one that has gained the most attention would be his career high in walks which he marked at 77 this year.
Cole Hamels was asked after his past start what the 200 innings pitched mark meant to him and his response was silence followed by, “anyone have anything else?” This guy is weird different and is just able to perform when he needs to.
A good definition of an “Ace” is if when someone says their name then automatically think, “ah yeah mark another win.” Cole Hamels proved that when he was given an opportunity to perform and clinch a 2nd consecutive A.L. West title this past week.
Texas Rangers fans should have no concerns about any bad play carrying over into the playoffs on the behave of Hamels. He just has the “it” factor and the ability to flip a switch in pressure situations. In the off-chance that he does stumble then the Rangers bullpen have shown that they are able to help pick things up and finish the game.
What concerns do you have of Cole Hamels as we get closer and closer to the playoffs? Join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages and like and share the stories with other Rangers fans like yourself!