When the Chicago Cubs made a trade at the deadline for Cole Hamels, there were very few people who knew what they were getting. The good news was the NL Central leader gave up very little in order to acquire the starting pitcher. That meant that any return on investment was going to be worth it, even if he pitched like Dan Haren, another starting pitcher Theo Epstein acquired at the deadline.

Haren continued to allow home runs when he came to the Cubs. That deal didn't go so well. Cole Hamels has been nothing less than masterful since coming over from the Rangers.

He's looked like the kind of ace he was in his younger days. While some people will chalk up the turnaround to little more than going from the AL to the NL and from a losing team to one that has been to the NLCS three straight seasons. There's quite a bit more behind the turnaround.

Cole Hamels' and his four-seam fastball

Hamels has had a big arm since the beginning of his career. The Dallas Morning News points out one of the reasons he's having so much success since joining the Chicago Cubs, is because he's using that arm more again. In particular, Hamels is using his four-seam fastball quite a bit more now that he's back in the NL. The new acquisition is throwing that four-seam fastball 28 percent of the time to lefties and 44 percent of the time to right-handed hitters.

Those are big increases from when he was with the Rangers at the beginning of the year when he was struggling mightily and looking like he might be coming to the end of his career. Back there and back then he was throwing the four-seam nine percent of the time to lefties and 23 percent of the time to right-handers.

The Star-Telegram points out that his fastball wouldn't be as effective no matter how often he threw it if he wasn't also showing an uptick in his velocity.

Hamels had been throwing 92-94 for Texas in the early part of the season. He's been throwing 95-96 for the Cubs. That uptick started with the Rangers and had kept going.

Getting out of Texas has helped the newest Cub

While the Chicago Cubs have been benefitting from better pitch selection, there really is something to be said for where Hamels is pitching when he was toiling in the launching pad that the Rangers play in.

His home numbers are, quite frankly, awful. He's 2-7 with a 5.28 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Keep in mind that includes being 1-0 with an ERA of 1.13 at home with the Cubs.

On the road, he's 7-2 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. The good news is he'll never have to pitch at Arlington again if he doesn't want to. The Chicago Cubs hope Cole Hamels will be pitching on the road and at home during the World Series.