What the Chicago Cubs need from each starting pitcher in the second half
Jason Hammel began the year as one of the best pitchers in the NL, flying way under the radar. Hammel finished the first half with a 7-5 record and a 3.46 ERA. Those are good numbers, but they seem less impressive when you consider where he was.
Hammel kept his ERA in the low two’s for the majority of the season, but then things got…well…pretty bad. Remember how he pitched after his hamstring injury last year? Because that’s how he’s looked lately.
In his last two starts, Hammel gave up 12 earned runs in nine innings pitched. Now, an ERA in the low two’s is simply unrealistic for Hammel. It’s just not him. That said, he will need to start going deeper into games. Like Lackey, command has been Hammel’s biggest issue. When it’s off, it’s way off.
I think Hammel will find his stride again, but I’ve been wrong before. Hammel can be a very effective pitcher when his command is on. Look for him to find it in the second half.
Next: Can't throw to first, don't care