CLEVELAND—There was a most unusual sight for Orioles fans on Saturday. Tommy Hunter was trotting in to pitch, and he was pitching against the Orioles for the first time since he was traded to the Chicago Cubs last July.
Hunter, who signed with Cleveland in February, allowed two runs in the seventh inning against his old team.
“It’s terrible. You want to strike everybody out…I talked to a couple of them after the game. It was like, man just take three groundballs and let me be on my way, so and then hanging a pitch to [Adam Jones], I just started laughing, not really laughing. I was really…upset,” Hunter said.
“I was like, ‘Man, I should just put this ball on the grass, and he’s going to go swing at it.’ But, of course, Jonesy takes care of hanging breaking balls. It was kind of hard, you just don’t look up, just try and keep your head down and go. It was some pretty good friends, but you never want to give up two runs.”
Hunter is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 games with Cleveland.
After the Orioles traded him to the Cubs, he got to reunite with Jake Arrieta, and seeing a different pitcher than he had before was exciting.
“Man, watching Jake throw was pretty incredible. One of the best pitching experiences I’ve ever seen. Maybe some other people will argue it was the best in the history of the game. Being able to witness that, and somebody that went through as many hardships and struggles as he did, come out on top and be the guy he is today, what kids are looking up to, it was fun to watch and be there in person and see him blossom like the young little tulip he is,” Hunter said.
Manager Buck Showalter didn’t have a chance to connect with Hunter this weekend, but he is very fond of him.
“Tommy is easy to like. He plays hard. He pitches hard and he’s a great teammate,” Showalter said.
“Tommy, you pull for him. It’s easy to pull for him. I wasn’t pulling for him last night, but Chris [Davis] and him are real close, but Chris is trying to get a hit and he trying to get Chris out. You pull for him, but not against you. Tommy is easy to pull for. His teammates pull for him. He’s not just some funny guy.”