Cole Hamels is like a Timex watch… he just keeps on ticking.
The 32-year old Rangers ace joined an impressive club Sunday afternoon, getting career strikeout No. 2,000 in the 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. The historic moment happened when Hamels got former Ranger Leonys Martin swinging on a curve down and out of the zone in the third inning.
Hamels went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five in the win, improving his record to 6-1 with a 3.14 ERA this season. Simply put, Hamels continued to do Hamels-things on Sunday.
The lefty was able to keep the Mariners lineup in check with doing what he does best, speed and movement. If he needs to, he can bring the fastball. If he needs to take some off the fastball to disrupt the hitter’s timing, he does it. Mix in the offspeed pitches, no problem.
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Perfect example was in the fourth when Hamels faced Mariners first baseman Dae-Ho Lee, who’s been red-hot at the plate. Hamels threw a 90 mile-per-hour cutter on a 0-2 pitch that kept running inside. Lee swung, but never really had a chance. That was a lefty throwing a cutter inside to a righty for the strikeout. That was magic.
The Rangers will need Hamels to keep the magic going. The team’s other ace, Yu Darvish, will miss Monday’s start due to neck/shoulder tightness. He flew back to Dallas for an MRI on Monday. The Rangers are hoping it’s nothing serious.
Hamels has now won four straight against the Mariners, and nine straight against A.L. West opponents. He becomes the seventh active MLB pitcher with 2,000 career strikeouts.
Rangers have now won seven straight series and 12 of their last 15 games. They now have a five-game over Seattle in the A.L. West.
Rangers now travel to Oakland for a four-game series against the A’s. No decision has been made on who will start in place of Darvish on Monday.