When Cole Hamels watched Rougned Odor throw out Rangers dreamkiller David Freese for the final out of Sunday's game, and the Rangers began pouring out of the dugout toward him, Hamels took a laid back approach to what was coming.
The ace lefty simply began walking toward second base for the Rangers' customary post-win handshake line — no fist pump, no nothing.
But he knew what was coming, and it was a deluge of water and hugs from his teammates after they'd won the AL West behind a complete-game masterpiece from Hamels — his first with the Rangers and second of the season, his other being his no-hitter in his final start with the Phillies.
Hamels deserved every bit of praise he got. He was a warrior. He gave up first-inning two-run homer to Albert Pujols and a double in the second, and then no more hits over the final six-plus. Most importantly, he prevented the Rangers from needing to dip into their exhausted, overworked bullpen that had nothing left.
When the Rangers acquired Hamels at the trade deadline, the prevailing thought was that it would be for the next couple of seasons of Hamels and Darvish atop the rotation. Little did we know, it was for Sunday, and boy, did he deliver.