Cole Hamels wasn't fantastic on Saturday night in his Rangers debut following the big trade with Philadelphia at the trade deadline.
But the lefty ace was still pretty dang good, especially when you consider the week he'd had — throwing nearly 130 pitches in a no-hitter and the being traded, arriving to Texas Friday afternoon before making his Rangers debut on Saturday.
Hamels started off great and ran into a little hiccup in the middle innings thanks to a couple of home runs. In all, he worked 7 2/3 innings in under 100 pitches, struck out six and walked one and was charged with five runs after the bullpen allowed one of his runners to reach base. Not spectacular, but definitely good enough to win the game despite the bullpen subsequently blowing a three-run lead Hamels left with in the eighth inning.
The debut was awfully similar to another big acquisition the Rangers made of an ace lefty back in 2010 when they traded for Cliff Lee a few weeks before the deadline. Lee debuted in Arlington against Baltimore and had his own problems, though in true Lee fashion pitched a complete game. The Rangers lost the game 6-1, as Lee was charged with six earned runs as a result of three home runs — more homers than strikeouts (2) on the night.
It was not great, but it was a workmanlike effort similar to what we saw from Hamels on Saturday. If that comparison holds water, we'll be in good shape for the future considering what Lee was able to do in his short three months with the Rangers.