How should we really feel about Cole Hamel’s start to 2017? His 3.03 ERA was the 33rd lowest among starters, one spot behind fellow co-ace Yu Darvish. He has also yet to receive a loss, one in only eleven starters able to say that.
While these numbers are great, Hamels has been lucky. Like, extremely lucky. Batters had a .219 batting average on balls on play against him, the ninth lowest in baseball.
His 5.14 FIP was the 12th highest in baseball for the month. Everyone else in the top twenty except two pitchers have ERA’s over four.
Simply said, Hamels success so far this season does not seem sustainable. His 4.13 strikeouts per nine innings has been alarmingly low, almost three whole strikeouts lower than his career low.
36 percent of balls put in play against him were hit hard. In case you were wondering, his previous career high is 33.3 percent all the way back in 2007.
Given Hamels track record, it’s reasonable to think he’ll start to figure it out. But this does continue an alarming trend downward for Hamels, especially after his poor performance in the latter part of last season.
Perhaps Hamels begins to pitch like Cole Hamels of the past or perhaps his luck will run out quickly.