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Hammel dealing a four-seamer in a game against the Yankees Sept. 6.
The Orioles starting rotation has been a mess all season.
Jason Hammel was injured for most of the second half, and Jake Arrieta, 26, has yet to prove himself as a Major League pitcher.
Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz had their chance at some starts early in the year, but were unable to get it done.
After a tumultuous and disheveled regular-season rotation, the stars have aligned for this Baltimore Orioles pitching staff just in time for the postseason. All questions have been answered, as the O's finally have a stable, dangerous rotation.
Now healthy, Hammel put up an 8-6 record with a 3.43 ERA before he was placed on the disabled list after the All-Star break. He is set to face CC Sabathia in the first game of the ALDS Sunday night.
Lefty Wei-Yin Chen has pitched reasonably well this season, owning a 12-11 record with a 4.02 ERA. In four starts against the Yankees this year, Chen held New York to three or fewer runs in three of those starts.
Twenty-four-year-old Chris Tillman has been the biggest success in this Orioles rotation since his call-up in early July.
In 15 starts Tillman has gone 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA. He is one of the hottest pitchers coming into October, going 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in the month of September. Other than Sabathia, the Yankees don’t have a player in their rotation with the ability to shut the door on the opposition like Tillman.
Miguel Gonzalez has been phenomenal since earning a sport in the rotation in July. In a game at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 31, he struck out nine Bombers through seven innings in a dominant performance. If Gonzalez can contain his emotions, he’s capable of another masterful performance against the Yankees.
As we witnessed on Friday, Saunders was a crucial midseason pickup for the Orioles. Since coming over from the Diamondbacks in late August, he has gone 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA. If necessary, Saunders will be on the mound for Game 5 of the ALDS.
Yes, this Orioles rotation has one player above the 10-win mark, but that doesn't mean you should write them off. Their ERAs and numbers against the Yankees this season are proof that this series won't be easy for New York.