Jul 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris (36) watches Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jason Hammel (40) leave the game during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Two Rocky Starts Haunt Jason Hammel After Trade

After being acquired with Jeff Samardzija in a July 5 trade with the Chicago Cubs, pitcher Jason Hammel has had two shaky outings with the Athletics, not living up to the tout he came over with in the deal that saw top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney dealt away.

On Saturday night, July 19, while the A’s and crowd of 36,000 were celebrating the 1989 World Series team, Hammel in the first inning allowed the first two runners of the game to reach base before surrendering a 3-run homer to Adam Jones, watching it sail into the left field seats. Three batters later he gave up another shot to J.J. Hardy and the A’s were quickly down 4-0 without even coming to bat.

Hammel was only able to last until the third inning, getting no one out, before being removed by Manager Bob Melvin. In his Oakland debut, Hammel faced only 13 Baltimore Oriole batters allowing five runs and six hits while retiring just six of the 14 batters he faced in two-plus innings before handing the ball over to a bullpen that surrendered three more.

In his debut with the club in San Francisco on July 9, Hammel only lasted until the fifth inning, struggling with his command at times and pitching a majority of the game with runners on base. He was able to limit the damage to two earned runs (three total) on six hits, including a solo shot to Hunter Pence in the fourth. He struck out just as many as he walked, issuing a season-high three bases-on-balls picking up the loss falling to the Giants 5-2.

Prior to the trade, Hammel was ranked 11th in the majors in opponents’ batting average (.227), 13th in opponents’ on-base percentage (.275) and 18th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.12).

With the Athletics, Hammel holds a 9.00 ERA in two outings with an opponents’ batting average of .364 and on-base percentage of .447.

It’s still too early to pass judgment on Jason Hammel with his next start scheduled for Friday against Texas. After that, fans can make a determination if sending down Tommy Milone was the right move.

In other disappointing news from yesterday’s game, Jim “The Money Pit” Johnson continues to be Jim Johnson by coming into the ninth inning and immediately surrendering a homerun to the first batter he faced, former teammate Chris Davis. Johnson followed that up with a walk to J.J. Hardy before getting out of the inning with a double play and strikeout. Getting $10 million for this season, Johnson’s ERA now stands at 6.25 where he’s allowed 90 runners to reach base in just 40.1 innings pitched.

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