For just the second time in his short pro career last night, Matt Hobgood took the mound and later left without yielding a run.
Hobgood, in his third start of the year, pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just two singles, as Delmarva beat Greensboro, 1-0 on a Garabez Rosa homer in the last of the ninth.
The Orioles first-round pick last June, Hobgood issued just one walk and had six strikeouts. His ERA for the season is 2.70.
“I thought it was a really good outing. My fastball control wasn’t as good as the last time I pitched against them, but it was good enough along with the combination of my curveball being really on tonight.
“I felt really good and located the fastball well enough. Broke a few bats vs. right-handed hitters and overall felt really good,” the 19-year-old righty said.
Hobgood threw 92 pitches and retired the last seven batters he faced. He has issued one walk with ten strikeouts over his last two outings.
“Our defense played real good,” Hobgood added. “(Tyler) Townsend played well at first base, he just got called up here tonight. He snagged what would have been a first at bat double down the line in the seventh to get the out. He’s already made a difference defensively.
“The only thing I was upset about was the walk I gave up. I threw the guy a 2-2 curve away and thought he went too far on a checked swing. Other than that I was happy with the performance and real happy when we got the win.”
Hobgood said his breaking ball was the key to his solid outing.
“Yes it was because early I was missing with the fastball, but could throw the curve for a strike. You need to learn to throw your curve for a strike and not just as an out pitch. Tonight I did both with a few first-pitch curves and threw some behind in the count. And I threw some on 0-2 counts to get them to chase.”
Hobgood said his fastball velocity was between 89 and 92 during the contest.
“I’m not blowing the doors off anyone. But I’m throwing a lot of two seams with tonight about 65-35 percent two seams to four seams. I felt good.
“I think (more) velocity will come and I’ll be back to throwing in the low 90’s consistently and hitting 94, 95. I’ve still got another 23, 24 starts, we are only three starts in. Every game I feel good with my shoulder and I’m getting good extension and my arm is getting stronger.”
Hobgood said the Shorebirds clubhouse has been a fun place to be during the club’s 8 and 5 start.
“Our chemistry is great. Everyone gets along with each other and messes around. We like each other, the chemistry is really good. From what I’ve heard it’s the talk of the four minor league teams we’ve got. I think we are going to have a really good year.”
A poster that goes by “Surhoff Rules” posted some You Tube videos of Hobgood’s pitching last night on the Orioles Hangout message board. They are interesting to watch.