Monday, November 30, 2015

Cole Hamels has pitched like this before, and it has ended well

Cole Hamels has struggled this season, but nothing about his performance suggests that he won't soon find his rhythm.

Cole Hamels has pitched like this before, and it has ended well


I've watched him pitch and I've looked at the numbers and I've listened to him talk and I cannot find an obvious sign that Cole Hamels is anything other than a pitcher who is slightly out of rhythm. I mentioned this on Twitter and I will reiterate it here: the guy we've seen through the first nine starts of the season looks a lot like the guy who was on the mound for the first third of the 2010 season. When he misses just off the plate, he does not get the call, and when he misses on the plate, he gets clobbered. He has gone most of the season without pitching with a lead, which I am guessing does not help matters. But his velocity has not changed, nor has any other telling rate stats: swing-and-miss, ground ball, etc.

Check out the following two sets:

Hamels through nine starts in 2010: 57.1 IP, 60 SO, 20 BB, 10 HR, 25 ER, .95 GB/FB, 12 % swing/miss, 19 % called strike 

Hamels through nine starts in 2013: 56.2 IP, 47 SO, 24 BB, 9 HR, .96 GB/FB, 12 % swing/miss, 15 % called strike

The most significant difference is the strikeouts, but that does not appear to be "stuff" related. Rather, it is because he is getting fewer called strikes, and thus has found himself in fewer strikeout counts and better hitters counts.

I see a guy who is getting behind in counts, but who isn't missing wildly. I don't think that is a reason for concern. Hamels said after today's game that he feels strong and healthy, and, unlike other pitchers who have made similar assertions, I don't see anything in his peripheral numbers that suggests we think otherwise.

Daily News Staff Writer
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