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

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

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

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

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.