One thing that can’t be lost about Monday’s 6-2 win in Washington is how long Jason Hammel lasted in the game: eight innings.
His previous longest this season was 6 2/3. And he knew he had to pitch deeper.
That is what a club’s No. 1 starter – whether it’s an ace or just the most experienced pitcher in a rotation – must do.
And that’s what the Orioles needed the most after a rough trip to Toronto in which the bullpen was forced to throw 14 innings – and gave up 16 earned runs.
“We all would have signed up in blood for that,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Hammel’s outing. “What are those things where you hold the bats like they do at the wedding chapel? I'm sure the bullpen would have had one of those waiting for him when he came in. That's Elvis in Vegas, right?”
I’m not quite sure what “Elvis in Vegas,” means, but pardon Showalter for being a little loopy Monday night. The Orioles had just escaped a tough stint in Toronto and received an eight-inning start for the first time since May 2. The Orioles have had just five games in which their starter has gone at least seven innings and they are 4-1 in those contests.
One more extended performance Tuesday night from rookie Kevin Gausman would go a long way in getting the Orioles’ 'pen the break it needs.
"If we can get one more good outing (Tuesday), we can get back on our feet down there physically,” Showalter said. “I challenge anybody to go into Toronto four days and not have challenges. Those guys didn't allow us to breathe, so you've just got to keep grinding.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun