Hammel's dead arm comes at the wrong time as Colorado is trying to make an improbable run to the postseason.
"I am worried," Hammel told the Denver Post . "I really don't even know how to describe it. It doesn't hurt. But I have to put so much extra effort into every pitch just to get it there. I don't feel right."
The 27-year-old has a 4.56 ERA in 28 starts over 169 2/3 innings, racking up a 10-8 record.
He's hoping to make his next start against Barry Zito on Saturday, but wasn't quite sure if that would happen.
"I have never been through anything like this," Hammels vented. "I don't have command of my fastball. I can throw my breaking balls, but I am not precise with my fastball at all. I am just throwing it toward the plate. It's concerning," Hammel said.
Meanwhile, pitching coach Bob Apodaca is wondering if the issue is mental, not physical.
"He felt like he didn't have it out there, but sometimes the perception doesn't match the reality," Apodaca said. "He was still throwing his fastball at 95 miles per hour. I expect him to make his next start. He has to find a way to get through this. That's what the good ones do. You have to be able to compete when you don't have your best stuff."
Maybe so, but speaking as one with experience with dead arm, there's only so much you can do. Dead arm is dead arm, and you feel like you can do absolutely nothing even if you have the same zip on the fastball. It feels as if your arm has completely abandoned you and you can't quite figure out why -- and when the feeling will ever come back. But once it does, you know it instantly, and the mental questions go away.-- Evan Brunell
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