The quality of David Hernandez’s pitches was not his problem tonight. The location of said pitches was a huge problem.
Tonight he struck out five batters in three plus innings, so when he put the ball where he wanted he got positive results.
That was not often enough however, not nearly.
But he gave up nine hits and five runs, including two more homers. His pitches usually were up and in the middle of the plate, two big problems.
The recent numbers on Hernandez are alarming. He’s given up nine homers in 10 2/3 over his last three starts and 14 homers over 26 innings in his last six starts.
We need to keep in mind, he is still a rookie and may be tiring a bit as the year winds down.
His arm and bulldog mentality are too good to give up on. Moving forward, he’ll somehow need to learn to pitch down in the zone more and improve his command. He threw plenty of strikes tonight, just ones that were very hittable.
On July 26th, Hernandez was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA and had just allowed two runs over 13 innings in back-to-back starts at New York and Boston.
His confidence must be down now, but I still think this is someone who could play a prominent role on the Orioles in 2010.