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Cole Hamels Was Masterful And Stupendous In His Cubs Debut

DjjtW9-XcAEL5lO.jpg-largePeoples Gas blows. – Everyone, ever

Please excuse my extremely stiff internet boner right now. I watched Cole Hamels make his Cubs’ debut tonight and it got my blood flowing. I can understand if that makes you somewhat uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable, the Pirates struck out NINE TIMES in 5 innings tonight against Cole Hamels and his plus plus change up. Let’s take a look at the extremely limited supply of authorized media we can review in celebration of this momentous event:

Interesting thing about this strikeout – Cole Hamels set up Polanco perfectly after letting the 1st two hitters reach for Pittsburgh. Hamels started Polanco with a fastball wayyyy inside, which fucks with Polanco’s perspective and vision, generally, for the next pitch. That’s key because Hamels is trying to get weak contact – if any – so to get there you can throw something really hard inside and make the hitter uneasy to start the AB. Hamels did just that, then followed it up with back to back cut fastballs over the outer half of the plate that would normally get launched into the bleachers. But they didn’t. That’s because Hamels came in hard on the first pitch. So he gets a couple bullets over the middle of the plate while Polanco gets recalibrated in the box. End result is a very quick 1-2 count. Then back to back filthy changeups and Hamels gets his swinging K.



That’s Hamels jam. He knows how to work 3-5 pitch sequences as well as anyone in baseball. For him it’s about finding opportunities to make the hitter uncomfortable and then stuffing his plus-plus change down their throats. It’s everything you want in a veteran starting pitcher and then some. It also doesn’t hurt that he was showing 94 and 95 on the fastball but more importantly it doesn’t hurt that he was commanding the absolute shit out of it. He kept the ball down, changed speeds and made the Pirates take hesitant swings throughout his start. Kudos to Hamels. It’s too easy when he’s feeling his changeup like tonight.

It’s also too easy when you run like Benny the Jet Rodriguez

Credit to Hamels for battling through some atypical adversity: he got stuck on the other side of a  50 pitch first inning from Pirate’s starter Kingham (that guy stinks) then another major delay when the home plate umpire got his brain smashed in the 4th inning. So getting in a rhythm was hard from the start, not to mention the rain later on. Also let’s not forget Addison Russell booted the first play of the game. Maybe Hamels goes 6 if Russell makes that play. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t. At all.

What I do know is that it was a great outing from the 2018 World Series MVP. Overall grade A with room to go A+. Go Cubs.