New Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel said after his near no-hitter that it was his new two-seam sinking fastball that really made the difference in his Orioles debut. Oddly enough, it is a pitch he added to his repertoire during the final half of spring training.
"We made some small adjustments in my windup and delivery,'' Hammel said, "and Rick said, 'I bet I can get you to throw it now.' I'm going to go with it. It's a way to get a lot of ground balls and keep your pitch count down."
Hammel got 14 ground balls (which accounted for 16 outs) and said that was probably the most he's ever gotten in a major league start.
Adair said after the game that he pushed the sinker on Hammel because he saw a similarity between the lanky right-hander and 6-foot-8 Tigers pitcher Doug Fister, who came into his own late last year after struggling to a 12-30 record in 2 1/2 seasons with the Mariners.