Buck Showalter just announced in his press conference that Jason Hammel will be the starter for game 1 of the ALDS. Hammel’s start in this one will be his first start since September 11th in a start against the Rays when he got pulled after 3.1 innings due to knee injury. In Hammel’s last start against the Yankees he went 5 innings and gave up 1 run in the Orioles 10-6 win on September 6th. Hammel has not won a start since June 22nd in a game against the Nationals. Hammel has a record of 3.48 on the year and a record of 8-6.
First off I just want to say that this is the most excitement I have ever felt for a baseball game. It’s the first time the O’s have made the playoffs since I was 8 and the only way I could be more excited is if they were playing at home and I could have put my $100 seats to good use. Anyways they are on the road and the million dollar question is: Who will start for the Orioles in our first playoff game since ’98? The same game that is against maybe the best hitting team in the league at their park in a do-or-die scenario. With no true ace on this team, there definitely is no easy answer.
Nick Markakis will be out for 6 weeks after being hit by a pitch in the hand last night by CC Sabathia. Markakis left Saturday night’s 5-4 win over the Yankees in the fifth inning immediately after being struck by the pitch. The injury will keep him out of the remainder of the regular season and well into October.
It’s definitely broken. He’s out. We’re hoping he can get back in time to play deep in the playoffs for us,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It breaks my heart personally, and for him. I know how much this time of the season means to him. We’ll go forward from there.”
Good news O’s fans, it looks like Jason Hammel will be back in action this week. This came from espn.com “Hammel is expected to be activated to start Thursday’s game”, MASN Sports reports. This is great news for the Orioles, because Hammel will obviously help them a lot. I am interested to see how Hammel performs coming off this injury. He lost his final four starts before going onto the disabled list and the most he went in those starts was 6.2 innings.
Pat’s Prediction Record:55-48
The Starters: Joe Saunders vs. J.A. Happ
The Orioles head into Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays, as the Yankees go to face Tampa Bay for a series before facing us again. For the first game of this series, the Orioles have Joe Saunders on the mound. Saunders, who the Orioles just traded for, did terrible in his first start as an Oriole. He gave up 6 earned runs in 5.1 innings against the White Sox. Saunders has to pitch well in this one if he wants to keep his spot in the rotation. As for the Blue Jays, they have J.A. Happ on the mound. The Blue Jays traded for Happ in mid July, and his ERA since then is 4.58 and his record is 3-1. In his last start he went 5 innings and gave up 4 earned runs to the Yankees. I think that the Orioles will win, 6-3.
I found a funny article on deadspin today (http://deadspin.com/5937686/this-is-how-relievers-try-to-pick-up-ladies-before-ballgames) that featured the Orioles reliever Luis Ayala. Basically Ayala was throwing long toss before a game against the Texas Rangers recently and he saw a good-looking girl in the stands. So after his warmup session he took the ball, wrote his phone number on it, and threw it up in the stands to the girl he was looking at. She actually ended up texting the number and the convo went like this: