After winning three out of their past four games, the Baltimore Orioles came up against a roadblock in Jared Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels on July 7, losing by the score of 3-0. Weaver picked up his tenth win of the year for the Angels, while Jason Hammel had his fifth loss.
Hammel pitched a pretty good game overall, going nearly seven innings while giving up three runs on six hits to go along with four strikeouts for the game. It was one of those games, though, where he was just outpitched, in this case by Jared Weaver, who threw eight innings of shutout ball and looked dominant. The only thing that should be concerning to the Orioles about Hammel right now is his walks. He gave up four in the game against the Angels, and has given up at least two in seven out of his last eight starts. If Jason truly wants to a top of the rotation starter for the Orioles he will need to get this down.
While there wasn't much going on with Baltimore's offense on June 7, Jim Thome had a decent day going 1 for 3 with a walk as well. Since starting his first game with the team on July 1 Thome has hits in four out the six games with no power numbers to speak of yet. Originally I didn't think this was a very good trade for the Orioles considering that this is most likely Thome's last year and has been declining productivity-wise for some time now, but they didn't give up much to get him and if he can get a few hits every now and then Jim could be somewhat productive for the team.
The Orioles will look to split their series against the Angels on July 8 as Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound against Brad Mills. Chen is coming off of a great game against the Seattle Mariners that saw him going more than seven innings but eventually getting a no-decision, and I think he will carry some momentum heading into this game. Mills is getting his first start of the year for the Angels as other starting pitchers recover from injury, and the Orioles should be able to get some runs on the board in this game considering that Brad hasn't been all that good in Triple-A with a 4.76 ERA.
Ryan Kekoufski has been following the Baltimore Orioles since Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak, and still enjoys watching games at Camden Yards from time to time.
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- Jason Hammel
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- Los Angeles Angels
- Jared Weaver
- Jim Thome
- the Orioles