Chicago Cubs: Cole Hamels is absolutely this year’s Justin Verlander

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

After turning in another dominant outing, it’s no longer far-fetched to believe Cole Hamels may be the Chicago Cubs’ version of last year’s Justin Verlander.

It seemed to be a pretty outlandish statement three weeks ago. Sure, Cole Hamels twirled a gem in his Chicago Cubs debut – but it was one start. And, as we all know, one start does not a season make.

But now, we’re almost a month into his tenure on the North Side – and he’s turned in that type of performance every single time he’s taken the ball. In four outings, he boasts an unthinkably low 0.72 earned run average spanning 25 innings of work.

He is yet to allow more than a single run in any outing and has been the bedrock of a Cubs rotation in flux. Jon Lester finally seems to have found his groove his last time out – but has been abysmal in his second-half body of work. Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana could be good – or they might struggle. It’s anybody’s guess on any given day.

And, then, we have Tyler Chatwood, who’s back in the rotation after the Cubs placed Mike Montgomery on the DL with shoulder inflammation. We know what Chatwood brings every five days – making Hamels more critical than ever.