Jason Hammel has lost three consecutive starts heading into tonight's game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. He hasn't won since June 22, when he held the Nationals to one unearned run in eight innings. He also won his previous start with a complete-game, one-hit shutout in Atlanta.
On both victorious occasions, Hammel was working on five days rest instead of the standard four. Tonight, by my math, he'll be working on five days rest.
In nine starts on four days rest, Hammel is 3-5 with a 5.57 ERA and 1.519 WHIP in 53 1/3 innings, and opponents are batting .270 against him. He's allowed 57 hits, walked 24, struck out 51 and surrendered six home runs.
In six starts on five days rest, Hammel is 4-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 0.850 WHIP in 40 innings, and opponents are batting .181 against him. He's allowed 26 hits, walked eight, struck out 42 and surrendered one home run.
Hammel has made two starts beyond five days rest, and he's 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 13 innings, and opponents are batting .200 against him. He's allowed nine hits, walked six, struck out eight and surrendered one home run.
The moral of this blog entry? I guess it's pretty clear that Hammel is more effective if given extra rest, which manager Buck Showalter has attempted to do. It's also one way to relieve some of the soreness in Hammel's knee.
The Orioles will play 20 straight days before their next break. They have one day off between now and Aug. 13. Extra rest will probably elude Hammel unless Showalter gets real creative.