That “when healthy” qualifier is a pretty big one, however, if only because that hasn’t been lately. Hammel pitched just three innings of his start in Detroit back on July 13th, and then didn’t make another start until September 6th, against the Yankees. He went 5 innings in that game, and then lasted 3.2 innings against the Rays on September 11th, and hasn’t made another appearance since then. In other words, the Orioles will be anchoring their ALDS staff with a pitcher who hasn’t appeared in a game in just under a month, and has a total of 11.2 innings pitched since the All-Star game.
Somewhat reassuring for Showalter, I assume, is that, in that September 6th game against the Yankees Hammel struck out six and walked just two in holding the Bombers to just a single run, so if rust was an issue then he wasn’t showing it at all. Still, I think the Yankees are catching a slight break here.… Click here to read the rest
First of all, one factor that will come into play right from the beginning is the new format the ALDS is taking for this season. Because of the desire to shoehorn the wild card round into the existing postseason schedule, the ALDS was altered from a 2-2-1 format to a 2-3 format, with the higher seeded team opening on the road and finishing at home. What this means is that, in addition to the change in opening venue, there’s only one off day in the midst of a five game series instead of two, so the Game 2 starter can’t pitch Game 5 on normal rest. You either have to use four starters for five games or have two guys throw on short rest. It’s an exceedingly goofy way to do things, but such is life until it changes back next year, and it’s going to affect everyone more or less the same way at least. Though the Yankees have been pretty aggressive at being willing to use C.C.… Click here to read the rest