Jason Hammel
Image Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Orioles came close to rescuing Jason Hammel from his worst start of the 2013 season, but fell just two runs short of some serious magic at the Yard. The Birds dropped their third straight game for the first time since early April and Hammel’s ERA ballooned to 5.72.

The O’s number one starter has surrendered 17 earned runs over his last 14 2/3 innings pitched (three starts) after allowing just 15 over his first 35 2/3 innings. Hammel told reporters after the game (per MASNSports.com’s Steve Melewski) that there’s a simple solution for his recent problems.

“It’s just staying over the rubber. Not trying to do too much. Let the stuff take over,” Hammel said. “It’s been what I have dealt with my whole career, trying to do too much.

“You know, going back and watching the video there were some great pitches tonight and some pretty bad ones. It’s a matter of removing those bad ones.

“It’s tough, but the minute you start beating yourself up, you put yourself behind the eight-ball. I always expect the best out of myself. I do know since I have been in this situation before that getting down on yourself and not letting yourself get better will only hurt you. Just got to have a short memory and get back to work.”

With that lack of command comes an issue with pitch efficiency. Hammel threw 73 pitches through his first three innings on Friday night (21 in the first, 23 in the second and 29 in the third). He recorded back-to-back 13 pitch innings in the fourth and fifth, but left the game after 99 pitches and just 4 2/3 innings pitched.

Needless to say, the Orioles need their number one starter to perform at a higher level. You’re not supposed to lose games when your offense scores ten runs.