This Man Can Pitch
Let’s take a look at a few Cole Hamels facts/impressions this morning:
- He is 8-1 with a 2.05 ERA since his first start of the season April 5. In 88 innings, he has allowed 61 hits, 20 earned runs, 16 walks and has struck out 88. Opponents have hit .197 against him (.228 against lefthanders and .187 against right-handers.)
- “I felt lefties might have had a better chance against him than righties tonight,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “With that changeup and now the cutter — he didn’t use that cutter before. That changes it. I’ll play more lefties against him next time.”
- From April 10 through last night, Hamels and Jon Lester are tied for the most wins in baseball. Hamels is fourth in ERA in that span behind Ryan Vogelsong (1.68 ERA), Jair Jurrjens (1.75 ERA) and Josh Beckett (1.77 ERA). Hamels’ 7.98 baserunners per nine innings easily is first. (Shaun Marcum is second at 8.51.)
- Hamels has a 2.65 ERA since May 1, 2010, which ranks fifth in baseball. Josh Johnson (1.99 ERA), Adam Wainwright (2.48 ERA), Roy Halladay (2.56 ERA) and Felix Hernandez (2.60 ERA) are ahead of him.
- “He’s definitely different,” Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas said. “The best I’ve seen him. He was primarily fastball-changeup and the curveball could be out of the strike zone and you didn’t have to swing at it. Now he mixes in the cutter and throws the curveball for strikes. You can’t lay off it anymore or assume it’s a ball. It makes you more aggressive.”
- Hamels is 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA in his last five starts.
- “He’s grown up a lot,” Charlie Manuel said. “He’s way more mature. He’s been around guys like Jamie Moyer and Halladay and (Cliff) Lee and Roy Oswalt and guys like that. He has a better work ethic now. He’s getting stronger. He’s bigger than he used to be. If you see him with his shirt and stuff off, he’s developing into a man.” As an aside, Manuel realized once he said it that it sounded a little funny for him to be talking about Hamels with his shirt off. He laughed.