Strop and Hammel weigh in on O’s loss to Angels

In the quiet of the Orioles clubhouse after today’s game, I interviewed Pedro Strop for the “O’s Xtra” postgame show on MASN.

Here are his comments after he allowed four runs and three hits today in just one-third of an inning to take the loss for the Orioles.

Q: You could not hold the lead today. What is your take on the outing?

Strop: “Not good. Only thing I can say. I couldn’t do the job.”

Q: Do you think it was location or stuff or a combination?

Strop: “I would say location. Yes, location.”

Q: The ball (Hank) Conger hit, if you field it, could that have been a double play?

Strop: “Yeah, it was going to be a double play if I could catch that one, but I couldn’t.”

Q: What about the pitch to (Erick) Aybar?

Strop: “I was trying to go down and away and I missed down and in - a happy zone for lefties.”

Q: Is it puzzling to you to struggle like this after such a good year in 2012?

Strop: “I mean, yeah, it’s hard to be in that kind of situation. I’m just going to keep working hard and get back on track as soon as possible.”

Jason Hammel gave up a hit and walk and then exited today with no outs in the top of the seventh as the Angels were starting their six-run rally. Did he tire in that inning?

“A little bit. But us pitchers are never going to say I’m tired, take me out of the game,” Hammel said. “We can find a way to get down when you’re tired or if it’s hot. So that wasn’t a factor.

“You always want to finish the inning that you started. When you can’t get an out there, that is a pivotal point in the game. Putting the bullpen in the position that I put them in, it’s hard enough to watch your own runs come in, but they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Obviously it’s my fault.”

Hammel has said his fastball command has been inconsistent this season. How was it today?

“It was not where it needs to be,” he said.

Nate McLouth said it is not easy to see a teammate like Strop strugging.

“You want all your teammates to do well,” McLouth said. “Those are the guys you work with every day and you always hope your teammates do well.”

Draft note: The O’s have come to terms with their 33rd-round draft pick, Jeff Kemp, a senior shortstop from Radford University. He is a Bowie, Md. native. Kemp is expected to start with short-season, Single-A Aberdeen.

That makes two draft picks that have agreed to terms with the club. The first, reported here on Friday night, was sixth-round pick Alex Murphy, a catcher from Calvert Hall in Baltimore and the Maryland state player of the year.

The club has not yet announced any signings.

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