BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Jason Hammel #39 of the Baltimore Orioles talks with manager Buck Showalter #26 and teammates before leaving the game with a knee injury against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 11, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel exited last night’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning after aggravating the right knee injury that sidelined him for two months, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun:
Not good news. Hammel landed awkwardly while throwing a pitch and had to leave in the 4th. No word yet but he missed 6 weeks w knee injury— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) September 12, 2012
Following the game, Hammel told reporters the pain he experienced last night was similar to the discomfort he faced prior to discovering he required knee surgery earlier this season. The procedure cost him two months of action, so there’s a chance the right-hander could miss the remainder of the regular season.
Hammel has been the Orioles best starting pitcher this season, posting an ERA of 3.43 over twenty starts. He will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of his injury.
It’s another blow to an Orioles team that’s unexpectedly in contention for an American League East crown. Baltimore lost lead-off hitter and right fielder Nick Markakis this weekend to a broken thumb.
Can the Orioles make the playoffs without Markakis and Hammel?