ATLANTA -- Those who have asked if left-hander Cole Hamels can bounce back next season can relax.
He already has.
Hamels is 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts since the end of June. His ERA ranks 10th out of 93 qualifying pitchers in that span. His 1.00 WHIP is 13th. His 5.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio is fourth.
Of course, not everybody has noticed, because Hamels is 5-13 with a 3.65 ERA overall. His 13 losses tie him with Angels right-hander Joe Blanton and Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell for the most in baseball, which should be an excellent reminder that a starter's record is often a highly inaccurate gauge of his abilities and effectiveness.
Hamels' 3.33 run-support average is 85th out of 90 qualifying pitchers, which tells the story about his record as much as anything.
"I think it's difficult to describe because of some of the things that have happened to him," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Sometimes we haven't gotten runs for him, and other times I felt like we did and things happened. ... The whole environment speaks for itself. I feel like he's very capable of having his season reversed, really. I look at him as still a good pitcher, a big-time starter."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less