That game last night hurts so much that even a day later it's almost hard to talk or think about baseball. There won't be any waiting for us to get over it, though. The Orioles are back in action at 9:05 Eastern time. All we can do is hope that it's not last year's Arizona series all over again. The O's are starting out in a better place in the standings than they did with that Arizona series, to be sure. But losing all three of these games would still be quite deflating.
Hey, here's a familiar name. On the whole, Hammel has been looking more like the surprise guy from 2012 in Baltimore than the awful one from 2013 in Baltimore. Even better, really, because he's been pitching to inferior National League lineups for most of his starts this season. That was enough to make him a tantalizing trade piece, and now here he is in Oakland, pitching against his former team.
This will actually be Hammel's first start against an AL team since the trade, because his first start in an Oakland uniform came against the Giants. Wherever you go, there you are.
LHP Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
2014: 18 GS, 104 IP, 4.15 ERA, 75 SO, 18 BB, .282 BAA, 1.31 WHIP
Last start (vs. Nationals): 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 6 SO
The home runs hurt Chen, as they have always hurt Chen and probably will always hurt Chen. Though the Oakland stadium is a cavernous expanse, that doesn't stop good hitters from launching mistakes, or even good pitches, far into the seats, as we discovered last night, with eight of the game's nine runs scoring across four home runs.
No one on the Athletics has faced Chen more than nine times. Derek Norris and Josh Donaldson have both homered off Chen in their limited action against him.
As a team, Oakland has been middle of the pack against left-handed pitchers, batting .244/.322/.403.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||OAKLAND A'S|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Coco Crisp - DH|
|Steve Pearce - LF||Craig Gentry - CF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Derek Norris - C|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Brandon Moss - RF|
|Nick Hundley - C||Nate Freiman - 1B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Nick Punto - 2B|