Originally written on Camden Crazies  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Opening Day for the Orioles was certainly fun. A win against a division rival. Adam Jones hitting rockets all over the park (he could have easily gone 4-5 or even 5-5 on the day). Chris Davis not only hitting a home run, but working back from an 0-2 count against a lefty (David Price, who's an OK pitcher I guess) to draw a walk. Matt Wieters homering (and doubling), while also giving Price fits in a 13 pitch plate appearances that resulted in another walk. Just seeing Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts healthy and on the field (both had a pair of hits). Earl Weaver-ball beating small ball was pretty sweet too, as the Rays played for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 6th with the sac bunt (they went up 3-2) before the O's put a five-spot on the board in the next frame, punctuated by Davis' three-run bomb (after an intentional walk to Wieters, no less). All of that stuff was covered elsewhere - I was really curious* about what was going on with Jason Hammel (6 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K) instead. A lot of people are expecting some regression from Hammel this year after his surprisingly good 2012 season, so his first start of 2013 was something to keep an eye on. Part of his success was due to some increased velocity and use of a two-seamer fastball, which helped up his groundball rates. * Curious enough to start investigating. At that point I figured I might as well post it. Velocity: Hammel averaged 93-94 mph with his fastballs (both the two-seamer and the four-seamer) last year, touching 96 on occasion. On Opening day he sat a tick lower (~93 on average) and didn't reach that high end (topped out at 95). That's not slower enough to be worried, I think. And it's much closer to where he was at the start of last season than where he was at the end of it. Assuming healthy and normal progression during the season, he should be back to his "new" level. Fastball: In 2012, Hammel threw more two-seamers than four-seamers (around 30% more). In his first 2013 start, it appears he stuck mostly with the latter; the PitchFx classification has it at 36 fastballs and 11 sinkers, and that seems pretty accurate judging by the movement charts (not too many pitches with more tailing and sinking action). It also wasn't surprising to see that break-down after watching the game, as Hammel repeatedly missed up in the strike-zone (or out of it) and gave up a lot more flyballs (11, versus only 5 groundballs) than you'd expect from him. On the bright side, Hammel was able to throw his slider for a strike pretty well, even if the poor counts he was in kept him from being able to get any swings and misses on the pitch. After the game Hammel said he was having trouble with his fastball command, which makes the pitch selection seem a little curious to me. Is the classification off, such that he threw more two-seamers but didn't get his usual movement on them? Or did he think he could get better command of the four-seamer, despite a fastball with extra sink potentially falling into the zone more? During the game I thought that maybe Hammel was dropping his arm more than usual, but his release point seems to have been consistent with last year. This is one of those situations were actually having access to ask a player directly might be helpful, but if I find something out I'll post an update.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Report: Bucs to keep Vincent Jackson under current contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

Nuggets break team huddle with countdown to end of season

WATCH: James Harden kicks LeBron in the groin

Jim Harbaugh tells Madonna he respects her toughness

Are the Oakland Raiders finally trending up?

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.