For his consecutive shutouts and then the quality start that followed it, Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels was named National League Player of the Week last week.
Hamels made two starts, winning both and pitching 16.2 innings. He didn’t give up a single run, extending his consecutive scoreless innings streak up to 23. He struck out 15, walking just two, for a phenomenal 7.50 strikeout to walk ratio. Hamels’ scoreless inning streak beats out Kyle Kendrick – of all people – who had thrown 22 straight shutout frames earlier in the season.
After signing a six-year, $144 million contract extension shortly before the trade deadline, Hamels has been extremely sharp. He is now 14-6 on the season with a 2.94 ERA and a 4.00 strikeout to walk ratio. His two shutouts lead the National League and he was rewarded earlier this season with his third career National League All-Star appearance.
Hamels was 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA last season, and he has a chance to eclipse the ’11 mark for his single-season best earned run average. Hamels’ 15 wins from 2007 – the first of the Phillies’ five straight NL East division titles – was his career-high in victories, and he will almost assuredly break that mark this season unless he gets hurt. Hamels still trails some of the top pitchers in the NL Cy Young award race but he has pushed his name back into the discussion.
According to Wins Above Replacement from FanGraphs, Hamels’ 3.3 WAR is tied for 10th-best in the National League among starters.