You have to love what David Hess did this afternoon in game one of a doubleheader for the Baltimore Orioles. In his big league debut, Hess only shut Tampa down (after a bit of a rocky start), pitched a quality start, and saved the Oriole bullpen from overuse for game two. Hess’ line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Unfortunately for Hess, from the outset it looked like he was going to be the one getting gassed. He allowed a couple of base runners, and a three-run homer by Duffy in the third inning. However Hess managed to do what seasoned veterans at times can’t – he centered himself. After that rocky first inning, he settled down and just pitched.
And Oriole bats rewarded him for it. Jonathan Schoop smacked a solo homer to left in the last of the second. Later in the inning Chance Sisco’s RBI-double cut the Tampa lead to 3-2. So the Birds put Tampa on notice right away that they weren’t going away.
But they weren’t done – for the game or that inning. The O’s called for a double-steal later in the inning with runners at the corners. And it was Sisco who scored from third, with a steal of home plate. Tampa challenged the play on the basis that the runner was out at second, however it was upheld. How often do you see a catcher stealing any base, much less home plate?!
One inning later the Birds had the lead for good. Manny Machado’s solo homer gave them a 4-3 lead. But before the crowd could even settle down after that home run, Schoop came back up to bat and hit another one of his own. So it was a two homer game for Schoop, as the Birds went back-to-back.
The O’s would add another run later in the game as Trumbo scored on a wild pitch in the last of the sixth. However the story of the game was David Hess. If you’re going to write a story on how your big league debut will go, you can’t write a better one than that. The question is whether or not Hess stays with the club. Personally I say yes. At the very least I see him staying until Tillman comes back. What happens after that remains to be seen. But all of that is merely my take. He may be on his way back to Norfolk by now for all I know.
The O’s now turn their attention to the nightcap of this doubleheader. Alex Cobb gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s May Andriese. Game time is set for approximately 6:10 PM.