Last season, in game one of the ALDS series against Toronto, Cole Hamels was on the mound for Texas. It turned to be a disaster because the Texas Rangers were humiliated and they lost 10-1. Hamels didn’t last four innings. It was then when Hamels was beginning to be doubted as the top ace for Texas.
Hamels finished last season with a record of 15-5 in 32 starts. He led the rotation in strikeouts and had the best ERA. Without a doubt, he was the Texas Rangers’ Ace starting pitcher.
During the months of August and September, he stumbled to a 3-3 record after going 12-2 in the previous months. In his final six starts last season, he went 1-1 with an ERA of 6.75. During his start against Toronto, he surrendered seven runs in less than four innings. He’s 0-2 in the postseason in a Rangers uniform.
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The 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP is obviously not the player he was during his early years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, but he’s still a very important and valuable asset to the Rangers organization. He’s 28-13 in a Rangers uniform.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America named Hamels the Texas Rangers Pitcher of the year, according to Max Faulkner of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
So the answer to the question is yes. Hamels is still the top starting pitcher in the rotation. He needs to improve his postseason abilities and he needs to stay alive in the closing months of the season. He needs to keep his momentum alive.