Cole is not alone.
Cole Hamels last year Won 17 games, posted an ERA of 3.05 and finished 8th in Cy Young voting giving fans and others a reason to hope for a brighter future. However Cole has been anything but bright in 2013. Before We start talking about run support and 3-1 counts, it’s important to realize that he is not alone in great pitchers last year who have been a let down this season.
R.A. Dickey is probably the biggest disappointment so far this year with starting pitching. Dickey had a win % in 2012 of .769, a WHIP of 1.053, an ERA of 2.73 and won the Cy Young. This year he has a win % of .364, a 1.406 WHIP and a ridiculous 5.18 ERA. Plus he got booed off the mound the other night against Seattle.
Gio Gonzalez in 2012: 2.89 ERA, 1.129 WHIP, .724 win %. Gio in 2013 has a 3.64 ERA, 1.186 WHIP and a .500 win %.
Matt Cain in 2012: 2.79 ERA, 1.040 WHIP, .762 win%. Matt in 2013 has a 5.45 ERA (ouch!), 1.211 WHIP and a .571 win %.
Kyle Lohse also came down to earth and David Price, after winning the Cy Young in the AL last year, now has a 5.24 ERA and a WHIP of 1.436, above league average.
Hamels has started 12 games this season and leads the league in losses with 9. In February, even a pessimistic Phillies fan would have thought by beginning of June, we would have won 6 games with Cole starting. But as many fans have pointed out, the offense has gone mysteriously quiet in games he has started, averaging only 2.1 runs per innings pitched as opposed to last year’s 4.7. What really catches my eye with Hamels is the % of extra base hits batters are getting against him. 47% of hits Cole has surrendered this year have been for extra bases. Compare that to someone like Matt Harvey of the Mets with only 23% extra base hit percentage and it’s pretty glaring.
Hamels last year saw only 30 3-0 counts total. He’s endured 12 so far and we’re a month and some change from the all star break. Obviously his walks are up and strikeouts are down with this.
But then again he’s top 20 in the NL in SO/9 innings. Michael Barr at Fangraphs.com seems to think it’s about walks. It’s really a concern but I believe Cole would be pitching better with leads early and more consistently.
I wouldn’t say the season is a loss but it’s going to be difficult to catch up to Atlanta with the start they had. If we had more wins under Cole I’d be more optimistic.