The Cubs will exercise Hamels' $20 million option for 2019 on Friday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports. Hamels was dealt to the Cubs at the July trade deadline and posted a 2.36 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 74:23 K:BB in 12 starts, which was enough for the team to bring him back for 2019. The veteran left-hander hasn't posted a sub-3.00 ERA for a full season since 2014, so a repeat of those numbers doesn't seem particularly likely, but he certainly found a resurgence in Chicago after having 4.72 ERA and 1.37 WHIP through the first half of the season with Texas.
Hamels (9-12) took the loss Saturday against the Cardinals despite allowing just two runs (one earned) over seven innings. He gave up three hits and two walks while striking out eight. Hamels was locked in but got outdueled by St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas in a 2-1 Cubs loss. The veteran lefty has lost his last two starts despite allowing just three earned runs over 13 innings, and he has a stellar 2.36 ERA overall since coming over to Chicago in early August. Hamels will now turn his attention to the postseason, as the 2008 World Series MVP figures to play a big role in his team's playoff run.
Hamels (9-11) allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings to take the loss Monday against the Pirates. He gave up five hits and two walks, while striking out seven. He also chipped in a solo home run at the plate. While it was the second straight loss for Hamels, this was a much better outing than his last start, when he allowed seven earned runs in six innings. The big blow against the veteran lefty was a two-run home run by Francisco Cervelli in the first inning, but he settled in nicely after that. Hamels now has seven quality starts in 11 appearances with the Cubs along with a stellar 2.47 ERA. He's slated to make his final start of the regular season Saturday against the rival Cardinals.
Hamels (4-1) took the loss Wednesday, allowing seven runs on nine hits while striking out four over six innings against the Diamondbacks. Hamels was in trouble from the start, allowing a three-run home run in the first inning, and he'd later yield another long ball. This was by far the southpaw's worst start since joining the Cubs, as he previously had a shiny 1.57 ERA with his new club. It's tempting to write this one off as a blip on the radar, but the long balls are part of a developing trend with the 34-year-old, who has given up five home runs over his last three starts. He'll look to bounce back Tuesday against the Pirates.
Hamels didn't factor into the decision in a 6-5 loss to the Nationals during the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, giving up three runs on three hits and five walks over 5.2 innings while striking out five. The veteran southpaw managed only 51 strikes among his 95 pitches, but he still left the game in line for his 10th win of the season before Steve Cishek coughed up the lead in the seventh inning. Hamels will take a 3.71 ERA, which includes a 1.42 mark in eight starts for the Cubs, into his next outing Friday at home against the Reds.