Cole Hamels was brought to Texas to be an ace, and for the most part, he's been everything the Rangers bargained for.
But two of his past three starts have been arguably his two worst as a Ranger in the sense that, by Cole Hamels' standards and not many others', they've been poor.
A big reason for those struggles has been an abundance of walks, which is an issue that has plagued Hamels for the entire season so far.
"I haven't been in a rhythm all year." Hamels told The Dallas Morning News. "It’s a matter of me getting in that rhythm and clicking with everything. Five innings, 5 2/3 innings, that’s not me. I want to go seven, eight or nine and haven’t had an opportunity to do that because the pitch count is too high, too many full counts.’’
Hamels went just five innings and gave up four runs with four walks back on May 1 against the Angels. He went 5 2/3 innings his last time out and allowed five runs, even though he walked none. Sandwiched between those starts, Hamels tossed a gem — one hit and nine Ks in seven scoreless innings.
Now, he'll pitch in Oakland for the second time in his career, and as we saw for a struggling Derek Holland on Monday, there isn't a much better place to pitch for a guy trying to find something. Hamels has a lot less to find than Holland did, but he's in a good place.