On paper, the Nationals appeared to have an advantage on the mound with former 21- game winner Gio Gonzalez taking the ball, but Hammel has shown uncommon dominance against the Nats. Hammel out-dueled Gonzalez as the Orioles won the first of four in the Battle of the Beltway by 6-2 at Nationals Park on Monday.
How good has Hammel been against Washington? Six of his 48 career wins have come against the Nationals, while he’s yet to suffer a loss.
The right-hander also has a career 3.20 ERA vs. the Nationals compared to 4.81 overall. His 4.11 K/BB ratio against the Nationals is his best against any team that he’s made at least five starts against. In 2012, Hammel went 2-0 against the Nats with just four earned runs in 13.1 innings pitched.
On Monday, Hammel recorded his second straight quality start to show manager Buck Showalter that he’s turned a corner after a rough start to the season. It also marked the first time the veteran had pitched eight innings since last June 22 against — you guessed it — the Nationals.
For the game, Hammel allowed two earned runs, eight hits and no walks to go with a season-high eight strikeouts. He improved to 6-2 while lowering his ERA to 5.06 on the season.