Oct 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning in game two of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, Cole Hamels is the undisputed Ace of the Rangers club this post season, but Cole Hamels is also a lefty. Over the course of the year the Blue Jays compiled a Team Average of .278, with an OBP of .354 and an OPS of .818. In other words, the Blue Jays are very good against Left Handed pitchers. While Hamels has been strong all season, and was especially strong in Game 2, he did show signs of weakness. He let up 4 runs (2 earned) over seven innings.
While that’s overtly a strong stat line, he was pitching against a rather unorthodox Blue Jays strategy, swing-or-bust, which as we know, didn’t really work out in our favor. That said, the Blue Jays have made multiple strides over the last two games to get back to the team we know them to be. Hopefully Monday’s 8-4 win is a sign of more to come.
Like all pitchers, Hamels has the occasional odd start. Given that the Rangers have won his last 11 decisions, odds would state he’s due for that odd start sooner rather than later. Pitching against the Jays in Toronto with everything on the line might just be what makes the Rangers’ Ace crack. If the Jays do get to him early, as I believe they will, there isn’t a lot of support for the Rangers behind him.
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