Jason Hammel has matched his season high for walks today, and he hit the mark after only 1 2/3 innings.
Hammel has issued three free passes, as he also did in four other starts. Factor in two singles, and he’s fortunate to only be trailing 1-0.
Five of the first nine batters reached against Hammel, including Matt Tuiasosopo, who singled in the second inning to score Victor Martinez after Alex Avila grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to nearly take Hammel off the hook.
I also believe that Tuiasosopo was the fullback who blocked for Marcus Allen at USC, but I could be wrong.
Martinez led off with a walk and Jhonny Peralta singled. Second baseman Ryan Flaherty, mostly here for his defense, did a terrific job to start the double play.
The Orioles have four players who have appeared in every game this season: Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy. Chris Davis would have joined them if not for a sore knee that caused him to miss one.
Could any or all of them play in 162 this season?
“You let the game and communication tell us that,” said manager Buck Showalter. “That’s something, if you put it down mathematically, you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Me, personally.
“I take it day-by-day. Last year, it worked out where Adam, it fit with the off days and some of the things we did DHing. I’m going to take every day. I think about it and look at it every day. Right now, we’re in pretty good shape, knock on wood. History will tell you, though, there will be some things going on that will probably be tough for that to happen.”
Chris Dickerson’s walk-off home run with two outs last night was the first walk-off homer by an Oriole while trailing with two outs since Chris Hoiles hit a two-out grand slam with his team down by three against Seattle’s Norm Charlton on May 17, 1996 (courtesy of STATS).
Dickerson has hit four home runs in his last 27 at-bats over nine games before today. According to STATS, he hit his previous four homers over a span of 423 at-bats in 232 games, dating back to April 2009.
Over their last three games, the Orioles bullpen has worked 8 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit, two walks and nine strikeouts.
Hammel is at 42 pitches (21 strikes) through two innings. The ‘pen could be busy today unless he finds the strike zone.