Left-hander Cole Hamels won’t pitch the opener of critical three-game series at Houston on Friday, but will pitch Thursday in the finale against Oakland as the Texas Rangers try to squeeze three starts out of him the rest of the season.
We’d like to have our best out there for three more starts. All games matter. It’s not just those three [at Houston]. It’s being able to take care of what we need to every day.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
The move will get Hamels starts Sept. 29 against Detroit and Oct. 4 against Los Angeles in the regular-season finale, a game that could be a must-win for the Rangers to make the playoff. He was going to start Friday and Sept. 30.
The Rangers have won each of the past seven games started by Cole Hamels.
If he makes the Oct. 4 start, a Sunday, he would be in line to pitch Game 2 of a possible division series. Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland and Martin Perez are the probables for the Astros series.
“We’d like to have our best out there for three more starts,” manager Jeff Banister said. “All games matter. It’s not just those three [at Houston]. It’s being able to take care of what we need to every day.”
Hamels echoed as much, albeit before the rotation switch was announced.
“Every game is important, especially when it gets closer to the end of the season,” he said. “We’ve got limited starts. Every one is important.”