Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 11/16/14

The Baltimore Orioles are currently searching for a way to make the playoffs for the first time since 1997. They are quickly running out options after a cruel twist of fate further crippled a pitching staff that was already teetering. The Orioles fell 4-0 to the Detroit Tigers, but the most crucial blow of the day came from off the field in the training room.

It was announced today that Orioles starter and staff ace Jason Hammel will be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Monday on his right knee that will put him out of service for at least a month. Hammel left his start on Friday in the fourth inning after landing awkwardly on his right leg. All of the Orioles faithful had hoped the injury wasn't major, but the Birds will in fact without their best pitcher for at least a month. Hammel's numbers this season have been exceptional from the start. He has turned in only two bad outings all season, but Hammel has been fighting through discomfort in his right knee for the last month and Friday the pain became too much to endure. He is winless since June 22 but remains the Orioles leader in wins and strikeouts.

Hammel said "It's a decision that had to be made. It's not easy because I could rest for maybe a week and it might go back to where it was. But then you run the risk of it happening every time I go out there."

It could be the final blow to an Orioles rotation that has been all over the map so far this season. With Hammel doing to the DL, the only pitcher from the starting rotation on opening day that is still on the active roster is Wei-Yin Chen who has been excellent this season in his own right. The Orioles starters for the upcoming four game series against the Twins are projected to be Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, a starter to be named this week, and Chen. In summary, a pitcher making his second major league start of the season, another making his first, an open slot that could be filled by just about anyone right now, and Chen.

On to today's game, the Baltimore Orioles ran into a buzz saw today in Justin Verlander. Verlander went eight innings striking out eight in a dominant performance. Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez did a great job of keeping the Birds in the game but the offense couldn't solve Verlander and finished with just four hits. Jim Thome picked up three of the four hits and is showing signs of coming on for an Oriole offense that is otherwise struggling. Another injury occurred in the top of the sixth inning when starting second basemen Robert Andino went down with a shoulder injury and had to leave the game.

The loss of Hammel makes it even more apparent that unless the Birds make some serious moves at the trade deadline to improve the starting pitching staff, they will likely fall out of the playoff picture all together. For now, it's off to Minnesota for four against a Twins team that is just 36-52 on the year. They were swept by Oakland in their first post All-Star break series and are losers of seven of their last eight games.

A chance to get back on track awaits in Minnesota and hopefully the Birds can remain healthy enough to do so.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Play Our Fantasy Game Today and Try Your Hand at Winning $250 for FREE

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll


Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.