I turned the game on in the 6th inning last night only to watch Hammel pitch himself out of a jam. Close to 100 pitches and coming off a bad start, Showalter should have gotten Patton and O'day/Ayala up before the 7th while telling himself if the lineup turns back over to Ichiro, then he goes to Patton.
Instead, he doesn't get his bullpen going until it's 1st and third and Hammel had clearly lost his command. Hammel keeps struggling, loads the bases, and sure enough he gives up the three-run double.
Obviously everyone would have liked to have seen seven innings from Hammel, but at the end of the day, the guy tired badly and Showalter was not prepared. The Orioles bullpen has been their strength and their was no reason to let a tired Hammel blow the game in the 7th.
While I agree with the premise that starter's should be able to go seven innings, Shoewalter had a pitcher who just came off East coast time who barely got through the sixth inning unscathed.
Too many times this year I've seen Showalter start his pen up too late. I don't know if this is by design or not, but I sometimes feel he doesn't have a great feel for his starting pitcher's effectiveness or lack thereof and he needs to be more prepared from the 7th inning on when his starter is still in the game.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.