Chicago Cubs: Fading down the stretch in September
After going undefeated and leading his team to six wins in his first month, Hamels’ fortunes shifted drastically in September, through no fault of his own.
If you take a quick look at his earned run average by month, you might think Cole Hamels completely fell to pieces in the final month. You’d be wrong, though. He took the ball six times and allowed more than three earned runs just one time – on Sept. 19 against Arizona.
In that start, he allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in a 9-0 Cubs loss. His season ERA jumped from 3.67 to 3.90 after this outing. On the whole, Chicago won just one Cole Hamels start in September. It’s hardly fair to place the blame at the feet of the left-hander. The offense, as a whole, performed poorly in the second half and it cost the team dearly.
But when you look at what Hamels brought to the table in his 12 starts with the Chicago Cubs, you can’t help but be happy. He allowed more than three earned runs once and more than two earned just twice. Any time a guy takes the ball 10 times and holds opponents to two or fewer tallies, you have a chance to win a ballgame.
So, if Heyman’s report rings true – the Cubs will get a veteran presence that not only stabilizes the starting rotation but allows guys like Mike Montgomery to slot back into the pen and give the relief corps greater length – one of the team’s bigger weaknesses in 2018.