36 year old Cole Hamels made his much anticipated Braves debut on Wednesday night and it was not much to write home about, but there are a few takeaways from the start. Expectations were pretty high for a guy that had not pitched in a major league game since 2019. We knew going into the start that Hamels would not throw more than about 50-60 pitches (he finished with 52), but the fact that he only went 3.1 innings and gave up three earned runs is not promising.
However, this was just his first start in 2020 and overall the velocity was a respectable 88.9 and he attacked the zone well. Worst thing for Hamels is that he will likely only get two regular season starts before the Postseason begins.
Braves fans need to be very hopeful that his next start is a more successful one because otherwise the team will be throwing out even more of a question mark to start in the postseason. Under normal circumstances, Hamels would certainly not be concentered as a postseason starter, but the Braves are happy to have anyone with an “SP” next to their name on the roster at this point.
The Wednesday start was a little discouraging, but the next start will go a long way in foreshadowing if the team can rely on Hamels to get through the first four or so innings and get the ball to a strong bullpen in a position to win the game when the postseason starts. In reality, that is all that Brian Snitker will be asking the 36-year-old to do in October, which would be a huge advantage.