Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel will undergo an MRI on his right knee tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Hammel exited tonight’s game in the fourth inning after throwing his sixth pitch to Tigers right fielder Brennan Boesch. He limped off the field with manager Buck Showalter and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel after attempting a few warmup tosses.
Hammel wasn’t available to reporters while receiving treatment on his knee in the trainers room following a 7-2 loss to the Tigers, but he sent along a comment through a team spokesman.
“I was driving toward the plate and it didn’t feel good,” he said. “Something felt really bad. It’s the same area as the injury was before. It’s kind of just day to day. We scheduled an MRI for tomorrow and we’ll find out more, but as of right now, we don’t really know what’s going on here.
“It was something that just happened on that pitch. I mean, the normal things I’ve been dealing with since the actual original injury happened, it hasn’t changed. Nothing felt like a pop or anything like that.”
Showalter said Hammel’s knee “bit him a little.”
“It’s something he’s been managing for quite a while,” Showalter said. “I think about half his starts this year have been with an extra day. He had an extra day today. Just bit him a little bit. He’s had some pitches he’s thrown this year where it bit him a little bit and then went away. This one didn’t go away.
“He’s got an MRI scheduled for tomorrow at 1 o’clock to get an idea so we can compare it to the last one, see if anything’s changed in there. I just talked to him before I came down there. The good news right now is there doesn’t seem to be swelling, which is usually indicative of something. We’ll take that as good news and see what the test shows tomorrow.”
Showalter’s conversation with Hammel was brief.
“He’s not in a real talkative mood, quite understandably,” Showalter said. “Every guy in that locker room has got something that bites them now and then. I can’t sit here and say for sure it didn’t bother him the first few innings, but he had kind of fallen back in step after the first inning. It took a little air out of the game. One of our better pitchers had to leave early on. We had gotten back into it at 2-1 and it looked like he was going to settle in and keep us in the game.”
Showalter knew before he left the dugout that Hammel wasn’t going to be able to continue.
“You kind of wait and see, try to not draw too much alarm to it,” Showalter said. “I let Matt (Wieters) go out there at first, and then you go by his body language. I just watched his face, I didn’t watch his delivery.
“Certainly, if I had said, ‘Give it a hitter and see how it feels,’ he would have kept going. Hamm’s a tough guy and he’s posted up for us. It’s something at the end of the season, we’re thinking we’re going to have to do something with it anyway, but we felt like we could manage it the way we were managing it. Hopefully, we’ll get some good news and continue down the path we’ve been with him and his knee.
“Because of the way Hamm’s performed, I don’t want to throw dirt over him right now. We’re hoping that we hear something good. Our trainers and medical people have done a great job, along with Hamm. I see all the work he does between starts to keep it under control, and I’ll trust him. We’ll make a good decision, probably in the next day or so.”
While Adam Jones expressed concern for Hammel, the center fielder said things like this aren’t unexpected.
“He came out of a game, there’s always a sense of alarm, alarming the team,” Jones said. “He’s been one of our best pitchers. It’s baseball. It’s a professional sport. Things happen. Injuries happen. You’ve got to take them as they come. It’s a professional sport. What do you expect? No one’s gonna play 162 too often.”
Wieters said he didn’t notice anything wrong with Hammel on the pitch, “but on the reaction afterward, I knew that someone didn’t feel good.”
“The pitch didn’t look any different,” Wieters said. “It was almost a strike, but afterward you could tell it was bothering him a little bit.”
Wieters didn’t detect that the knee was bothering Hammel over the first three innings.
“No, he looked good and he was throwing good early,” Wieters said. “It’s probably the best he’s thrown early since early in the year, but it’s tough. Hopefully, good news will come back tomorrow and he’ll be ready to go.”
Asked for his reaction to the injury, Chris Davis said, “Frustration, disappointment.”
“I think we’ve had our share of that this year and I know everybody has,” Davis added. “I know Boston hasn’t been healthy and teams have had to deal with injury in both leagues. But for us tonight, getting Nicky (Markakis) back and having him healthy and being out in right field, and then to see Hammel have to leave the game, it is definitely frustrating.”
Down on the farm, Jonathan Schoop hit a grand slam in Double-A Bowie’s 7-6 loss to Reading.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Single-A Delmarva. The Orioles could activate him from the 60-day disabled list before tomorrow’s game.
Tommy Hunter was charged with four runs - all in the fifth inning - and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk. He walked one and struck out seven.
LJ Hoe’s hitting streak ended at 20 games.