After dropping two out of three to Oakland, and losing eight out of thirteen since the All-Star break, the Rangers were reeling. Luckily, the only pitcher capable of getting a W, Cole Hamels, was on the mound for the first of three against Kansas City at the Ballpark. Texas won 3-2, scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on a Mitch Moreland home run.
THE DEFINITION OF AN ACE
Originally published July 29, 2016.
Since coming to the Rangers almost one year ago on July 31, Cole Hamels is 19-3.
That is nothing compared to what he has done for the Rangers since the All-Star break.
Texas is a disappointing 5-8 since their badly needed rest. Hamels, however, is 3-0 in three starts. In fact, since June 28, exactly one month ago, Hamels is the only Rangers starting pitcher to earn a win.
I will let you re-read that.
Since June 28, exactly one month ago, Hamels is the only Rangers starting pitcher to earn a win. In fact, I will put that in a caption under his picture at the top of this article so it really sinks in.
In his three starts since the break, Hamels has stopped two four-game losing streaks and one two-game losing streak.
Better, Hamels has twice pitched eight complete innings in his three post-All-Star starts. That is huge. Because that leaves the mercurial Rangers bullpen to pitch just one inning in those games. Every inning the Rangers bullpen pitches increases the odds exponentially that the Rangers will lose.
Last night might have been his best game as a Ranger. Hamels struck out twelve and held the Royals to 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Cole Hamels is not just the Rangers’ ace, he is the Rangers’ saving grace.