Jason Hammel has been a fantastic surprise for the Baltimore Orioles. He’s 6-2 with a 3.06 ERA, and most players would be more than satisfied with that kind of production. But Wednesday’s loss against the Toronto Blue Jays has Jason Hammel more frustrated than ever. The Jays won 4-1, sweeping the Orioles in the third game of the series. Toronto was able to hit four solo home runs in the game, and it’s led Hammel to suspect that the Blue Jays may have been cheating.
As you may recall, there was a rather poor story written by ESPN suggesting that the Jays were using a man in a white shirt to relay signs to the Blue Jays. These claims were fairly ridiculous, backed up by the same calibre of evidence that proves that Santa Claus and the Boogeyman are indeed real. Once the story broke, it became a fairly common occurrence for teams or players to complain that the Jays may have been cheating when things didn’t go their way.
It seems that Jason Hammel is buying into the theory of the Jays using a Man In White, as he recently accused the Jays of cheating:
Jason Hammel is effectively arguing that the Blue Jays were somehow aware of when he was throwing his breaking balls, allowing them to beat him. If this were true, that would mean the Blue Jays had to be successful against a fair number of breaking balls thrown by Jason Hammel. Was this really the case?
Coming into the season Jason Hammel had allowed 3 home runs, and last night he allowed 4 against the Jays. And if the Jays had hit a home run off one of his breaking balls, maybe Hammel would have been on to something.
Except for the fact that the Blue Jays only hit home runs off of Jason Hammel’s fastballs.
Ok, so maybe Jason Hammel didn’t allow the Jays to hit any home runs off of his breaking balls, but maybe some of the other hits were. Hammel allowed 5 hits that weren’t homers last night, and of those 5 hits only two were off his offspeed pitches. One was a double, and the other was a single.So of the 48 offspeed pitches thrown by Jason Hammel, only two of them were hit by the Blue Jays. While the Blue Jays were extremely effective against Jason Hammel’s poorly located fastball, they were downright terrible against his breaking balls.
So it doesn’t look like the Blue Jays were cheating off of Hammel’s breaking stuff, because if they were they were doing a pretty bad job of hitting it. This was the result of Jason Hammel simply missing his spots, as three of the home runs were belt high and on the inner third of the plate. You throw a fastball like that to a major league hitter, and they’re going to crush it.
At the end of the day it was pretty disappointing to hear Jason Hammel whine about how the Blue Jays were cheating, especially now that we can prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Blue Jays were completely ineffective against Jason Hammel’s offspeed pitches.
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