Jason Hammel's Control Issues May Have Cost Him More than the Loss

Steven WynockerCorrespondent IApril 30, 2008

With Scott Kazmir's return set for Sunday, every starting pitcher is wondering what the organization is going to do. 

Someone has to be booted from the starting rotation.  Jason Hammel might have made that decision much easier as he didn't make it out of the third inning Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

Hammel had pitched six innings or more in his past four starts, but lack of strike throwing ability led to four walks and a high pitch count.

The Rays’ biggest issue, however, might have been their lack of run scoring ability. This led to a total of nine men left on base.

The third inning was the one that hurt the most. The Rays had the bases loaded and only one out with their two hottest hitters Carl Crawford and BJ Upton set to hit.

Crawford chased a first pitch curve ball and hit into a fielder's choice force out at home.  Upton then followed that with a strikeout, missing two fastballs right down the middle of the plate. 

The next thing you know, the score is 7-0 Baltimore heading into the seventh inning.  The Rays showed some life, putting up a four spot in the top of the seventh, highlighted by BJ Upton's two-run homerun.

The Orioles stopped the rally, and that would end up being the final score as George Sherrill locked up his 10th save on the young season.

Baltimore Orioles now take over first place percentage-wise over Boston, and Tampa Bay trails by one game. 

The Rays will look to even the series today and get back a share of first place behind early season surprise Andy Sonnanstine. The Orioles will send Matt Albers to the mound as he looks to improve to 3-0.