ARLINGTON, Tex. — Among the millions watching Madison Bumgarner’s virtuoso performance this week was at least one man who could relate: Cole Hamels, the ace left-hander for the Texas Rangers.
“That was impressive,” Hamels said. “Superhuman.”
Hamels has been that guy. Eight years ago, he was the most valuable player of the World Series. He has won an opening game of the championship series, and a final game. He has thrown a shutout to clinch a division series and, last October, helped his team beat the Toronto Blue Jays in that round. He is a big-game pitcher, a winner. It is the greatest title in his field.
On Thursday, in a 10-1 beat-down by the Blue Jays in Game 1 of this American League division series, Hamels was someone else. In his previous five postseason starts, Hamels had given up six earned runs across 34 ⅓ innings. This time, he gave up six earned runs…