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So-So Hamels Still Good Enough

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park on April 20, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

    Cole Hamels hasn't been himself this year, and that's not a secret.

    The Rangers ace, turned co-ace, leads the league with seven hit-by-pitches and his 14 home runs allowed puts him on pace to shatter his career-high in that department — a category in which you don't want to be setting career-highs.

    Yet, he's still been pretty dang solid to the tune of a 5-1 record and a 3.32 ERA while being well on pace to eclipse 200 strikeouts.

    On Tuesday night, he had one of those nights where his control wasn't his best. He walked four and hit one batter while allowing four hits over seven innings. He got burned once on an early two-run home run from Carlos Gomez, and that was it as far as damage on the scoreboard.

    He was helped out by the double play, which has been the best friend of several Rangers starting pitchers this year, and he induced three himself on Tuesday.

    It wasn't his best, but it was really encouraging to see him struggle with his command and still pitch right with Houston ace Dallas Keuchel while keeping his team in the game for seven innings. We all know what happened after that.