Cole Hamels – You have to Look at More than Just Wins and Losses

By jason keen
Updated: October 22, 2013

The one thing I have learned over the years being an avid listener of both 94.1 WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic is that most callers have no idea what they are talking about. Anyone following at least one major sport no matter what town her or she lives in or what team he or she roots for knows that the city of Philadelphia is regarded as having (the most) passionate fans, and therein lies the problem. If you are going to be passionate about something regardless of the subject, I believe Oklahoma State Football coash Mike Gundy said it best, “Get your Facts Straight.”

To say that Cole Hamels had an off year is nothing short of preposterous. To say that someone who who finished top 10 in the National League in innings pitched, strikeouts, strikeout to walk ratio, quality starts and perhaps most importantly WAR is just plain ignorant. The one telling stat that Hamels finished Top 10… lowest run support.

Unfortunately for Hamels, this is not the first time he has been victim of low run support. In 2008, Hamels began the season throwing at least seven innings in 18 of his first 21 starts. He accumulated a WHIP of 1.01 in a two month span and won only four times. At that time it was not that big of a deal because the Phillies would go on and win the world series but five years later history would not repeat itself come the 2013 season.

Hamels would finish the 2013 season 4th in major league baseball with 25 quality starts and 7th overall with a quality start percentage of 76% just behind teammate Cliff Lee’s 77 %, among those who pitched at least 200 innings.

The six players ahead of him, Kershaw, Shields, Scherzer, Lee, Sale and Wainwright would finish with a 94-52 record for a 64% win percentage. Hamels 8 wins and 14 losses account for a 36% win percentage. How does a guy who has so many quality starts have so few wins? Surely research would prove that similar circumstances would happen nearly every year. Well, it doesn’t.

In the history of major league baseball only two players have ever had 24 or more quality starts and 8 or less wins, Nolan Ryan of the 1987 Houston Astros and Cole Hamels of the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies. In addition, only one team in history have had two pitchers with at least 220 innings pitched, 24 quality starts and 14 or less wins. The 1968 Los Angeles Dodgers did so with Don Drysdale, Claude Osteen and Bill Singer. The 2013 Phillies did so with Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.

The Phillies still have one of the best if not the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball. Sometimes you have to look at more than just wins and losses.

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