“Six innings or more with three earned runs or fewer.” The Quality Start stat took a bit of a beating last night.
Cole Hamels accomplished that against the Tigers on Saturday. So, technically, it’s a quality start.
But I would bet he won’t be accepting too many pats on the back for a job well done. His start could be characterized as anything but quality. Yet what he did was pretty remarkable.
He gave up the most hits in a game he has ever given up—fourteen. With three walks. But just two runs.
That’s seventeen base runners through seven innings. Or 2.5 per inning. Yet somehow he allowed just two runs to score. And his ERA went down a point, from 2.89 to 2.88.
In only one other game since the All-Star break has the opposing team gotten as many hits against the Rangers. And that was Thursday when Colorado pounded out fifteen hits against Rangers “pitching.”
In that game they scored twelve runs.
So, does the fact that the fourteen hits the Tigers pounded out produced only two runs say more about the futility of the Tigers offense with runners on base, or the mastery of Cole Hamels making pitches when he really needed to, which was pretty much the entire game?
You want to know the true value of Cole Hamels? Look at what Hamels was able to last night as opposed to what Harrell, Jeffress, Diekman, Bush, and Claudio did Thursday.
Twelve runs on fifteen hits. Or, two runs on fourteen hits. That is the Cole Hamels difference.
So instead of dwelling on those few minor blemishes last night, let’s just say this, which is indeed the truth, even if the truth is rarely accurate:
Last night, Cole Hamels pitched a quality start against the Detroit Tigers in which the Texas Rangers outfielders were credited with two amazing assists, one nailing a runner at third, the other nailing a runner at home.
Never mind they lost 2-0. And that other stuff.
Michael Fulmer (9-3, 2.43) vs. A. J. Griffin (5-1, 4.38)
Game time: 2:05 pm