Manager Dave Trembley would not comment during his postgame news conference on whether Rich Hill had reached the end of his shaky tenure in the O's starting rotation.
"That's something I'm not ready to say right now,'' Trembley said. "The game just ended. Fifteen minutes after the game. I'm not ready to say that."
Check with him tomorrow. This may be a transitional season, but the Orioles are playing a team that was in a deep slump and shouldn't even be able to come into town with an 0-5 pitcher and beat a rebuilding club.
Somebody asked Dave whether he thought Hill's problems were the result of his physical or mental approach to the game.
"I think you evaluate what you see,'' Trembley said. "No matter who it is. No matter who it is, it's the ability to command the fastball and the abiltiy to throw strikes with the fastball. The ability to make quality pitches with two strikes. I would say that didn't happen often enough tonight."
That's quite an understatement. For those who were viewing the first two games of the Royals series as a competition between Hill and Jason Berken to stay in the rotation, I think Hill basically conceded his end of it. Can't imagine Berken failing to top a 2 1/3-inning start, but you still have to wonder how much rope he'll have left if he can't beat the floundering Royals.