Back in February, we learned that Cole Hamels was dealing with biceps tendinitis over the winter, and was behind his recovery schedule. We were told that he wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day. In March, he suffered a setback, telling reporters that he wasn’t in pain, but was fatigued. He was placed on the 15-day DL on March 27 (retroactive to March 21). After a handful of rehab starts, he was finally cleared to join the team in L.A.
He began his 2014 season with a six inning, two run outing against the Dodgers. His next start, however, didn’t go as well. The Mets tagged Hamels for six runs over 4.2 innings. Then he allowed five runs over six innings against the Blue Jays. He was 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA in those three starts. It wasn’t looking good.
But then he settled into the Cole Hamels that we all know. Over his next 27 starts, he posted a 2.06 ERA. His changeup was as good as ever, and he seemed to get stronger as the year went on. He went over 100 pitches 17 times, and allowed more than three earned runs in an outing just three times.
His best Game Score in a start was against the Padres on June 11. He threw eight shutout innings, while allowing five hits, one walk, and struck out 11 batters. His worst was that second start of the year against the Mets. He was the starting pitcher in a combined no-hitter against the Braves, and finished the season with the 5th-lowest ERA in the NL.
He was the subject of several trade rumors leading up to and at the deadline, but the Phillies did not move him.
Hamels was fantastic in 2014. Aside from an injury that delayed his season debut, he was as consistent as we’ve seen him in a Phillies uniform. He didn’t have many wins, but that has very little to do with how well he pitched. It was a career year for Hamels, and he was easily the Phillies best player in 2014.