Jason Hammel is a grinder. All year long he has been lacking his best stuff, but he has kept the Rockies in every game. Last night, in the Florida humidity, Hammel finally put it all together. He had command of his fastball and his off-speed stuff was sharp. Jason’s end result was 6 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 Ks.
So far this season, Hammel has been a different pitcher. He’s striking out fewer hitters, but he has dramatically increased his ground ball percentage. The additional grounders have lowered opposing hitters’ BABIP against Jason and he is leaving more runners stranded on base. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the remainder of the season. It could be that it’s just a statistical fluke, and, as the season wears on, Hammel’s numbers will level out to his career averages. However, it’s also possible that Jason is making more of an effort to pitch to contact and rely on the Rockies’ ridiculous defense. I hope it’s the latter.
Florida is a tough place to hit. The air is heavy and the stadium is expansive, making it a pitcher’s haven. In the first two games of the series, the Rockies have had trouble getting the bats going — 7 hits in 18 innings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier today. The Marlins have staff ace Josh Johnson on the mound. Hopefully, they’ll give him the same treatment they gave Matt Cain. It would be great to win another April road series.
Here’s the win probability graph from last night. Tulo’s first inning RBI single was the game’s biggest play, followed by Seth Smith’s sixth inning double. Of course, Hammel’s perfectly executed squeeze bunt was easily the most exciting play.
Troy Renck has a pretty cool story about Herrera. Jonny has been a revelation this year.
The Rockies’ High A affiliate can’t score runs right now.
It’s been well documented that the Rockies have a pair of ACC quarterbacks playing for Asheville. One is tearing it up and one is struggling.
Tulsa starter, Juan Nicasio, went seven innings and struck out 10 in a Drillers win.
This Date in Baseball History:
1962 Mets manager Casey Stengel is fined $500 dollars by Commissioner Ford Frick for appearing in a beer ad.
1987 At Cleveland Stadium, Rickey Henderson becomes the first player in baseball history to hit a home run off two different 300-game winners in the same game. The left fielder’s solo homer in the 8th inning off Phil Niekro and his two-run blast in the ninth off Steve Carlton helps the Yankees edge the Indians, 6-5.