Here are comments from Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and pitching coach Rick Adair on Jason Hammel's near no-hitter today at Camden Yards.
Wieters on Hammel's outing:
"He threw the ball well. He was able to get a lot of ground balls and use all his offspeed. In spring training, you could tell he had good stuff, but you are always constantly working on things. He did a great job of pitching to his strengths and getting a lot of groundballs. I thought we had a chance today with the stuff he had going and how he kept his pitch count down.
"He was able to throw his offspeed stuff when he was behind. Was able to locate fastballs on both sides of the plate. Getting the grounders allowed him to keep the pitch count down and get deep into the game."
Wieters on the weekend starting pitching success:
"It's big. That is how we are going to have to win. Starting pitching is what is going to win in this division. We keep getting pitching like this, we've got a chance. It's big. You can't put the whole season on three games but it's a nice feeling to see the starters throw as they have."
Wieters, what was going on in the dugout?
"Everybody was just sort of focused. I think, everybody kind of knew what was going on, but at the same time, we had a ballgame to win. We were up 3-0 and trying to add on."
Wieters on Hammel pitching well after he lost the no-hitter:
"That was huge. That is a tough thing to do. Give up back-to-back doubles and come back there. There it turns into trying to shift your energy from trying to throw a no-hitter to trying to win a ballgame. He did a great job of doing that there.
Wieters, did he think about the no-hitter?
"You're aware of it, but you are just trying to call pitches to get the hitters out, whether he had given up six or seven hits. You are trying to call what you need to do to get the out at the time."
Adair on his chance to get it:
"I thought he had a real good chance. He was real efficient with his pitch count and the type of ground balls he was getting, they were kind of chopped. So, yeah I though he had a chance and I was nervous for him. It was fun to watch."
Adair, did you think the two-seamer would be a big factor for him when the club acquired him after the trade?
"Never thought about it because he threw some four-seamers that actually had two-seam action. With some other things he's done, he's got the ability to get on top of the ball a little easier now. Just going to the two-seamer, it worked out and he's pretty excited about it."
Adair, what did you see that led you to think you could tweak some things with Hammel to improve his two-seamer?
"Probably the first thing I thought about is he reminded me a lot of Doug Fister. And some things that were done with Doug (when he was his pitching coach in Seattle in 2009-10). It's worked out pretty well with Fister until he pulled his oblique yesterday. But, yeah, they reminded me a lot of each other. Although Hammel does throw harder."
Adair said the O's starters are feeding off each other now:
"They have worked extremely hard during spring training. They are feeding off each other, you know, even when they are not pitching. This is a good group and it's a real good chemistry."