One of the worst ways to measure a pitcher’s success is by their win-loss record, as doing so fails to take into account things such as ERA and overall run support. Cole Hamels has had an up-and-down 2013, but has been pitching at an elite level lately. However, because of his team’s struggles, Hamels does not have the victories to show for it.
Hamels has always had the burden of needing to account for a lack of run support with the Philadelphia Phillies and in 2013, this was again the case. During the beginning of the season, Hamels was unable to overcome this hurdle as he struggled to find his command. Uncharacteristically, the lefty gave up 10 home runs in the first two months of the season.
While he wasn’t perfect, he did finish the month of April by giving up seven earned runs in 21 innings over the course of three games. To show for it, Hamels got one win, one no-decision and a loss in a game in which he pitched eight innings and gave up just seven hits and two earned runs.
He then went on a torrid losing streak, failing to win a single game in May. Of course, it didn’t help that the Phillies scored a grand total of 12 runs in those six starts, including two runs total in Hamels’ three best starts of the month. The lefty’s ERA peaked at a 4.95 by the end of May.
In June, Hamels began to right his ship, but still managed to lose two games in the month. All five of his starts were considered quality, and he lowered his season ERA by nearly a run. However, he won just one game in June.
The real interesting part of Hamels’ season begins in July. By the time, it was very clear that he was getting his mechanics back in order. He allowed a season-low two home runs and six walks over the course of 35 innings pitched. But still, Hamels finished the month with just two wins, two losses and a 2.57 ERA.
So far in the month of August, Hamels has been completely lights-out. He has pitched as one of the best in the league, giving up just three earned runs in 24 total innings pitched. He has yielded just the one home run and just two walks as well. While he hasn’t given up more than two runs a start in the month, he has just one win. The Phillies have scored just 11 runs, and even less when Hamels was in the game in line for a decision.
So while Hamels has had his struggles, the fact that he is 5-13 is more a result of bad luck and a lack of run support than how he’s pitched. While Hamels may not have pitched like a million-dollar ace, he certainly hasn’t pitched to a 5-13 record either.