Chicago Cubs: Silencing his critics, proving doubters wrong
More than a few fans thought bringing in Cole Hamels was a Jim Hendry-like move, one where the team relied on an aging veteran past his prime to deliver them from evil. The left-hander did his best to silence those folks in his first start in a Cubs uniform.
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In five scoreless innings on the road at PNC Park, Hamels struck out nine and scattered three hits. The Cubs picked up a 9-2 win over the Pirates – and the club continued to win every time the veteran took the ball. Chicago earned victories in Hamels’ first six starts as a Cub, spanning a tremendous month of August.
During that month, Hamels went 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA (three earned runs allowed in 39 innings) with a 1.000 WHIP.
He did not allow more than one earned run in a start in those half-dozen outings. That performance was good enough to net him National League Pitcher of the Month honors.
With one month left, it was crunch time – and the Cubs were sitting pretty. They maintained a 3 1/2 game lead over St. Louis and four full games over the Brewers. Then, the wheels came off.