Cole Hamels Desperately Needs Run Support
Another excellent Cole Hamels start, another loss. Hamels has been among the best starters in baseball this season, especially since the beginning of May, but his offense couldn’t hit water if they jumped off the Titanic so long as he’s on the mound. The Phillies continued their scoreless streak in Queens, New York — now up to 36 innings thanks to four consecutive shut-outs — and have not scored a run for Hamels since the top of the seventh inning on August 1 against the Washington Nationals. To make matters worse, Hamels was the one batter in the lineup that prevented R.A. Dickey from tossing a no-hitter tonight.
This dearth of run support has become a well-known problem but to truly grasp the issue, it may be best to look at a chart. I tossed Hamels’ basic pitching information into a spreadsheet (innings pitched, earned runs allowed). Then I counted all of the runs the Phillies offense scored in each start while he was the pitcher (excluding innings in which he was pinch-hit for). I converted each column of information into a rate per nine innings, then calculated the differential. Positive is good, negative is bad. Click the chart to view a larger version in a new window. The starts are listed in chronological order, with his first start on the left. His rain-shortened June 1 start has been excluded.
- Even differential: 2.4 RA / 2.4 RS (4 starts, 17%)
- Negative differential: 3.6 RA / 0.7 RS (10 starts, 43%)
- Positive differential: 3.1 RA / 6.9 RS (9 starts, 39%)
Hamels’ numbers since May 4 (excluding June 1): 122.1 IP, 2.64 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 2.6 BB/9. He has won only five of those games, lost five, and received seven no-decisions. In that span of time, his offense has only scored four more runs than he has allowed. It’s as if, when Hamels toes the rubber, the offense hits like they’re facing another Hamels.
Lastly, a chart with the raw numbers, in case you’re interested: