As The Texas Rangers move towards the end of the season, it has been no secret that their two aces Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish have had troubling Septembers. In all discussions until pretty much recently, it was believed that Hamels would be the starter for the Rangers first playoff game but should that be the case?
Both of these Texas Rangers Aces have posted ERAs over 5.00 through the month of September and haven’t had a great outing until recently. Cole Hamels flipped a switch and had a great outing when the Rangers had a chance to clinch the division a week ago. Then Hamels last game he started by allowing a leadoff homer, then went 7 innings while allowing 8 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), and 6 strikeouts.
Cole Hamels is believed to be the kind of seasoned veteran that has the ability to bring his best performance when everything is on the line and I believe that is the case. Even in this last start and a few others over September, he has done enough to keep the Rangers in the game.
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Yu Darvish is in an interesting situation because he did struggle during September but once everyone started to get concerned; he provided a 7 inning 2 hit performance with 9 strikeouts the day after the Rangers clinched their division. The concern was growing because he is just one year removed from having Tommy John surgery and he may have been fatigued or hitting a wall was the thought.
Obviously that’s probably not the situation but from outside perception that is what fans started to think. Darvish too is believed to be a good enough pitcher that he can flip that switch when needed but he also has thought to have been a pitcher where everything needs to be perfect for him to perform well. With his last performance being so dominant, if he was to be lights out against the Rays Friday night, then should he start the first playoff game for the Rangers?
I think if he was to perform like he did in his last start then possibly that question should gain weight just for the sake of it. The reason to pick the right game 1 starter for the playoffs is because with this rotation, they may have to start multiple games in a series.
I think no matter what, Cole Hamels should be the game one starter going into the playoffs. Mainly because of his experience and because he has been the teams most consistent pitcher this year. What do you think?