BOWIE, Md. - After throwing 47 pitches and going 2 2/3 scoreless innings tonight for Double-A Bowie in a rehab outing, Jason Hammel said he feels fine physically and was able to throw all his pitches.
The Orioles right-hander said the right flexor mass strain that sent him to the disabled list July 29 was a problem for most of this year but he tried to pitch through it. It’s no longer an issue for him.
Tonight he gave up three hits with no walks, three strikeouts and two hit batters, throwing 32 pitches for strikes against the Binghamton Mets. He hit the mid 90s a few times on the stadium radar gun.
“Really what I wanted to feel tonight was the slider and I had much better feel for the slider,” Hammel said in the Baysox clubhouse. “That will be a big difference maker, once I’m back. Got a lot of ground balls, got the pitches and the work in.
“Much better feel for everything and the extension in being able to finish my breaking balls. Even the curveball was better. Pretty happy for the first time.
“I didn’t see the velo, but I’m assuming it was good. The only ball that was hit well was a fastball down the middle and I was trying to go away. Was able to use all my pitches and keep them off balance. Should be even better next time out.”
This was his first outing in a game since he went 5 1/3 for the Orioles against Boston July 28.
He hit two batters with fastballs that he said he just didn’t quite get on top of and they got away from him, but he was pleased overall with his outing.
Hammel said if the O’s want to bring him back in a bullpen role, that is fine with him.
“I’m game for anything. It’s the September run, all hands on deck. Obviously I’m more comfortable as a starter and think I bring more help as a starter, but it’s the playoff run and everyone should be ready to go no matter what.”
Hammel went 7-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 starts for the Orioles this year. Did the injury impact his outings and the results?
“Oh, 100 percent and I’m not a guy that makes excuses,” Hammel said. “When you can’t actually finish and get to your extension for your pitches, you’re going to leave balls up and get hit. I tried to battle through and still think we had chances to win the game when I was pitching but I certainly didn’t feel like myself.
“I will try to battle and do what I can until my arm falls off really,” he said when asked if he ever thought about going on the DL sooner. “It was finally a necessary move that kind of had to happen in order for me to come back later and have a chance to help. You’ve seen it all year long, we are beating up the pen and not getting deep into games. It’s a matter of checking your ego at the door and letting someone else step in if you can’t do the job. I’ll be ready when they call me.
Hammel said he was not sure when he will pitch next and mentioned possibly it could be at Single-A Frederick whose season ends Monday or possibly short-season Single-A Aberdeen which will play regular season games through next Wednesday and could continue into the playoffs.
Waring’s big night: Bowie third baseman Brandon Waring put his name in the Baysox record book tonight by hitting three homers and he may get a chance at a fourth.
Waring hit a three-run shot in the first, struck out in the third, added a two-run homer in the fifth and then hit a solo blast over the left field fence in the sixth for his 20th, 21st and 22nd Baysox homers.
He is the fourth Bowie player to ever hit three homers in a game:
* Mike Berry on May 11, 1997
* Calvin Pickering on July 29, 1998
* Nolan Reimold on Sept. 4, 2008 in a playoff game.
Waring has six RBIs and Bowie, still clinging to faint playoff hopes at four games out with six to play, has a 13-1 lead in the seventh inning.
Baysox win: The final was Bowie 13, Binghamton 1 here tonight. In addition to Waring’s big night, Buck Britton went 4-for-5 with a two-run triple and two-run homer for Bowie.
Barring a playoff appearance - and Bowie still has flickering hopes - this was the last home game of the year in Bowie. Another great year by the Bowie fans and staff at PG Stadium, well done.