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Hamels Better But Still Not Great



    Hamels Better But Still Not Great
    Getty Images
    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 lately, and if you listen to him, he'll even say he hasn't been himself all season.

    He hasn't been bad, not even close, but he hasn't been the diabolical ace the Rangers traded for at the deadline last season who went on to pitch the Rangers to victory his last 10 starts of the 2015 season, including the AL West clincher in Game 162.

    On Tuesday night, it wasn't necessarily walks that hurt Hamels, but instead it was the long ball as he surrendered three homers to Oakland while giving up four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings in a game the Rangers eventually lost because Shawn Tolleson couldn't protect a lead.

    Hamels did fail in the seventh, however, when he had a chance to get out of the inning with a lead before giving up back-to-back singles with two outs to let the A's tie the game up.

    Even though he wasn't as good as we'd all hoped he'd be on Tuesday, Hamels did continue unbeaten streak, which still sits at 11 straight decisions being Ws.