Hammel threw 70 pitches in three innings -- his shortest start since Sept. 30, 2010 -- and is 1-2 with a 9.33 ERA in four starts this month, yielding 23 hits and 21 runs in 24 1/3 innings. This was Hammel's 13th start of the season at Coors Field, where he is 3-9 with a 6.01 ERA.
Hammel gave up a double just inside the right field foul line to Justin Sellers with one out in the first, followed by Aaron Miles' run-scoring single. Juan Rivera led off the second with a double and scored on Rod Barajas' one-out single.
Hammel walked Miles with one out in the third and threw a wild pitch while in the process of striking out Matt Kemp. Hammel then walked Rivera, compounding matters by throwing a wild pitch on ball four, and gave up a three-run homer to Barajas, putting the Rockies behind 6-0.
Hammel was coming off a win Saturday at St. Louis where he allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings.
"Jason did not have a good start at all," manager Jim Tracy said. "It was just completely different from what I observed... in St. Louis. I saw a guy that was very aggressive at St. Louis, attacking hitters, going after bats. I saw a guy that was really, really trying to refine his pitches, really place them right on edges."
Hammel's ERA rose to 5.24, the highest it has been all season, save for April 6, when it stood at 7.20 after he pitched five innings in his first start of the season.
Hammel was trying to win consecutive starts for the second time this season. He did it April 23 and 30 to finish that month 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in five starts. Since then, Hammel is 4-11 with a 5.77 ERA in 20 starts.
Hammel's decline since April on a monthly basis has been as follows: 0-4 with a 4.42 ERA in May, 1-2 with a 4.31 ERA in June, 2-3 with a 7.00 ERA in July and now 1-2 with a 9.33 ERA in August.
"I worked tirelessly to figure this out," Hammel said. "Obviously, I'm not fulfilling expectations right now. It's very disappointing to me and of course, the whole organization, too. Point the finger at me for holding this organization back right now. If we want to get going in the right direction, I need to figure it out."
The Rockies soon will have options should they choose to drop Hammel from the rotation. Alex White, acquired from the Indians in the deal for Ubaldo Jimenez, made his fourth and final rehab start for Class AA Tulsa on Thursday. The Rockies haven't announced when he'll next pitch, although it's not likely they'll expose him to the harsh conditions at Class AAA Colorado Springs, which opened a nine-game homestand Friday.
And left-hander Drew Pomeranz, also acquired in the Jimenez trade, made his debut in the Rockies organization Thursday and pitched seven scoreless innings. White's next start could be with the Rockies, and Pomeranz is likely to join them by the end of this month.
"If I start thinking about that, I'm going to get in trouble," Hammel said. "But this is a results-based business, and right now the results aren't there."
Tracy acknowledged after the game that Hammel's place in the rotation could be a topic of discussion. "Obviously there are some other people as the result of a trade that was made at the end of July," Tracy said. "After I have an opportunity to sit down and completely digest all of this, we'll move forward and talk about and think about what it is that we're going to do, but not tonight."
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