Thursday, 31 May 2012

Very, Very Strong Hacks

Jason Hammel is from South Carolina. Jason Hammel is 29 years old. Jason Hammel is a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Jason Hammel has had a very good season so far.  Jason Hammel has gone 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA, and the Orioles are 7-2 in games he's started. Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings against the Royals in his last start.

Jason Hammel is kind of an idiot.

“I don’t think you can take swings like that, not knowing they’re coming,” Hammel said after the Blue Jays beat Baltimore 4-1, completing to complete the sweep and get to within two games of first in the AL East.

 “There’s rumours and things like that, I don’t know,” Hammel said, referring to the "Man in White" rumours from last year.

 “I can’t speak on that but they were taking very, very strong hacks on breaking stuff. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” he said.

That's just kind of sad. This is the big leagues. Guys are going to hit stuff. It doesn't mean the other team is cheating, it just might mean that your breaking pitches are particularly hittable that one start. Also, when one's career ERA is 4.84, it's usually a good indication that "very, very strong hacks" on one's off speed pitches have actually been seen before. 

Encarnacion, Lawrie, Davis and Rasmus (who smiled!) hit solo homers that were the difference.

Brandon Morrow had a great bounce back performance after the barely one inning start during the Texas chainsaw massacre last weekend. Unlike Hammel, Morrow's off speed stuff proved unhackable, especially a slider that Mr. John described as "wipeout."

Collective hearts stopped when a cruising Morrow took a Wilson Betemit comebacker to the leg, reminding many of the time the Texas Rangers ended Roy Halladay's season in 2005.  I was concerned for Morrow, especially when he could no longer put weight on the leg and had to be assisted off the field. I was also alarmed by the fact that that Roy Halladay incident was seven years ago. Seven!

Luckily, the assistance off the field was just a precautionary move.

“It hurt a lot,” he said. “My foot was numb and it felt like it was swelling up. I guess there’s a nerve in there that it hit it something. But luckily it hit the muscle on the side of my shin. An inch or half an inch over, it could’ve been a different story.”

Morrow was walking around the clubhouse post game, and was listed as day to day with a right shin contusion. Aren't we all day to day?

Omar Vizquel moved passed Brooks Robinson into 42nd place on the all-time hit list. He had a bunt and a hit into right field and has gone 7-16 subbing for the beat up middle infield.

 “I can’t believe it,” he said. “You take a look at the list that you are around and you see the guys you are passing on hits and all that. It’s unbelievable that 23 or 24 years ago or whatever, I never thought that I was going to be standing where I am right now.

“It’s been a long way but I feel very grateful, happy and fortunate to have the opportunity to be on the field and still do what I do the best, which is play baseball.”

In the merry go round of optioning that has occurred over the past two weeks, Aaron Laffey has been sent back to AAA Las Vegas with rumours that a position player is coming back. With word that  Adeiny Hechavarria has gotten his papers in order and can come to Canada, maybe we see the baby Cuban sooner rather than later.

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