Despite going 29-15 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 139 ERA+ in 2007 and 2008 (Oh, yeah, and winning a World Series MVP) some Phillies fans came unglued when Hamels went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA in 2009. There were even suggestions he should be traded.
As noted here during that season, Hamels looked to be mainly a victim of bad luck as his walk, strikeout and homer rates all were on par with the previous years.
Lo and behold, Hamels went out in 2010 and posted a career-best 3.06 ERA. He was victimized by a lack of run support, finishing 12-11. Throw in his work this year, and Hamels is 17-13 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 131 ERA+ over his last 42 starts. His K rate is 9.2/9, walk rate is 2.5/9 and HR rate is 1/9.
Even still, some fans seem cool to Cole. Too bad. They're failing to recognize a heck of a pitcher. Even with his average 2009 campaign, Hamels ranks No. 13 among all MLB hurlers for WAR beginning in 2007. Those ahead of him: Halladay, Sabathia, Lincecum, Haren, Verlander, Lee, King Felix, Greinke, Beckett, Weaver, Lester, Jimenez. There are a few Cy Young winners in that group, as well as a few no-hitters.
Not bad company.