Lee finished 2012 with a 6-9 record and a 3.16 ERA with 207 Ks in 217 IP. No question Lee has pitched better this season, as he currently sits at 9-2, 2.53. The record Lee finished with last season had more to do with a lack of run support and too many no decisions rather than sub par performance.
Many have said the same thing about Hamels this season, as he currently owns a 2-11, 4.50 record. In fact, after Hamels' latest loss to the Mets (4-3), a headline in one of the local Philadelphia papers read "Snakebitten." The question I have is: How is a pitcher who owns a 4.50 ERA through his first 16 starts snakebitten? Yes, Hamels at times has pitched through some bad luck. Last night was not an example though. For the third time this season, Hamels was spotted a three run lead only to have the game result in a loss. This is clearly not Cliff Lee of 2012 all over again, as some are making it out to be.
But just to put the whole thing to rest, let's look at where Lee was at this point last season. Lee has a propensity for pitching his best baseball in the second half of the season. After Lee's 2012 start on July 8, which was his 16th, he had a record of 3-5 with an ERA at 3.78. Only once did Lee fail to pitch at least 6 innings, 4 times pitching at least 8 during that stretch. Hamels has failed to pitch at least 6 innings four times this year. I agree that Cole has lost a couple games due to run support, but his ERA has been in the 4.00s all season. The lowest it has been was 4.18 as it is currently above that. Based on the 6+ IP, 2 run or less rule for a win, 6+ IP 3 runs or anything less a loss, Hamels should be 8-8 right now, which is less than spectacular. Lee, on the other hand, would have been slightly better at this point in the season. Lee averaged more innings per start and also did not blow three leads of 3 runs in that stretch.