Misery (Hates) Company: Shaky Run Support Not Just a Cole Hamels Problem

Misery (Hates) Company: Shaky Run Support Not Just a Cole Hamels Problem

This year, the Braves, one of the most potent offenses in all of baseball, are providing ace Kris Medlen with a Salvation Army-generous... 2.86 runs of support per game.

The Giants, meanwhile, have plated just above the major league average for runs scored, but for top starter Matt Cain, have only mustered 3.14 runs of support.

At 2.86 runs of support per game, Cole Hamels, again the victim in last night's 2-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, falls in between.

So no, he's not alone.

You can hypothesize the reasons. Maybe it's that offenses actively coast when top starters take the hill. Or maybe they're just spent from trying to get their teams through the back ends of their rotations.

Whatever the case, fact is, Hamels' plight isn't just his.

Sure it's been bad for him this year. Despite a 2.41 ERA in his last six starts, Hamels is 1-3 in them because he's gotten two runs of support or fewer in four. On the year, the team is just 1-7 when their $144 million man gets the ball.

But what about Medlen? He's punched a a 3.25 ERA, and yet he's only 1-4. Worse, the Braves, only a half game under the Cardinals for the best record in the league, are only 2-5 in his starts. And remember: Medlen didn't have any sweep-this-under-the-rug starts like Hamels did.

And before you say that Jeff Samardzija is 1-4 and the Cubs are 2-6 in his starts despite his 3.09 ERA because Chicago doesn't score or win for anybody, keep in mind that they do, in fact, score for Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70 ERA) and Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 3.02 ERA), who've pulled 4.67 and 4.57 runs of support per nine -- more than anybody on the Phillies but Kyle Kendrick.

Speaking of: Kendrick so far has been a sweet surprise. But he's still been a surprise, right? (Right.) It stands to reason, then, that whether it's conscious or not, lineups bring their best stuff when they know they have to.

Look at the top 10: Jonathon Niese (NYM), Jon Garland (COL), Julio Teheran (ATL), Lance Lynn (STL), Yovani Gallardo (MIL), Juan Nicasio (COL), Adam Wainwright (STL), Tim Lincecum (SFG), Mike Leake (CIN), Patrick Corbin (think you're acquainted now).

With few exceptions, all are either back-end types (Gallardo, Nicasio, Leake), really young (Teheran, Corbin) or have no business being a 1 but were thrust there because the Mets are terrible.

Lincecum offers an interesting look, because he's a rare find: a once-at-the-top-of-his-game ace now reduced to so-called replacement level. His run support was decent in his back-to-back Cy Young years (4.57 in both). But with each passing year, during all of which he was still San Fran's opening day starter, his run support dwindled, all the way down to 2.81 in 2011.

Then, he unravels and gets relegated to the 'pen last year, and poof -- the run support returns.

Some guys have overcome it. Clayton Kershaw's only getting 2.38 RS/9, the fourth-worst in the league. But with the fourth-best ERA, he's 3-2 and Dodgers are at least 4-4 when he starts. Madison Bumgarner's 2.31 ERA has been enough to get him a 3-1 mark despite the sixth-fewest RS/9 in the NL.

Others just get it good. Wainwright, already the owner of a 2.72 ERA and the best K/BB ratio in baseball, gets 5.53 runs per game -- seventh-best in the NL. But Wainwright seems the exception.

For everyone dubbing Cole Hamels, "Cliff Lee 2.0," recall that Lee could be his own next generation. Lee this year is only getting 0.26 RS/9 more than Hamels, for the difference of 41 vs. T-47 on this list of 60.

Though at this rate, Phillies starters should be happy to get anything.

Jimmy Fallon gives out superlatives to Eagles and Cowboys players

Jimmy Fallon gives out superlatives to Eagles and Cowboys players

Jimmy Fallon, the host of the Tonight Show, handed out his superlatives to Eagles and Cowboys players. 

Linebacker Jordan Hicks was named “the most likely to be one of the Rugrats all grown up,” and safety Rodney McLeod was named “most likely to have been told he’d get a lollipop after the photo was taken.”

Unfortunately, there was not a superlative given to Tony Romo for being named mostly likely to be crying on the ground after getting sacked. 

The Eagles and Cowboys will face off on Sunday Night Football, when we will see the first battle between rookie quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott.

Check out the video for yourself right here.

Phillies fans woke up Rays' players during 2008 World Series

Phillies fans woke up Rays' players during 2008 World Series

The lore of Philly sports fans continue to grow. 

And this time, nothing was thrown.

Current Cubs and former Rays manager Joe Maddon said that during the 2008 World Series, Phillies fans found the hotel his team was staying at, and honked car horns throughout the night, keeping the team up.

"The Philly fans, they knew we were there somehow," Maddon told reporters Wednesday. "Five o’clock in the morning they’re driving around the hotel blowing the horn, trying to wake everybody up at 5:00 in the morning, 6:00 in the morning…."

Maddon says the team had already checked out of their original hotel before Game 5, but because the game was suspended, the Rays had to book another hotel in the area.

Through some impressive detective work, fans found the team's hotel and did their best to wake up the Rays throughout the early morning.

Did it work?

It must have, because the Rays allowed a leadoff double to Geoff Jenkins (remember that guy?) to resume the game.

You have to be pretty exhausted to allow a hit to that guy.