Down the stretch this season, Orioles manager Buck Showalter came up with a sort of mantra ... Our No. 1 starter is whoever is pitching for us today.
I might not have that exactly right, but you get the idea. Well, in the Orioles' huge Game 1 of their Division Series against the New York Yankees, the Orioles' No. 1 starter is a guy who hasn't pitched in nearly a month, and hasn't won since the 22nd of June.
Then he lost four straight, and went on the Disabled List, and came back in September for a couple of starts, and got hurt again. His last outing came on the 11th of September, when he had to retire in the fourth inning because of a knee injury.
And now he's back. Is Hammel the right man for this so-important job? We'll know in a few hours. But Buck Showalter's been pushing the right buttons with his rotation for most of the season.