Baltimore Orioles: David Hess finishes 2018 strong

Baltimore Orioles fans had to be encouraged by what they saw out of starter David Hess last night – albeit in a losing effort. Hess’ line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. And that’s a great manner for Hess to close his rookie season, which of course began back in May when he started the first leg of a doubleheader.

These final outings are important, because one way or the other it’s the lasting memory of this season for all of these guys until they report to spring training next year. Let that sink in for a moment; the next time you’ll see these guys in action will be in the Florida Grapefruit League. And who knows what the roster and/or coaching staff looks like at that point.

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead on Adam Jones‘ RBI-double. That lead held up until the sixth inning, when Hess gave up a solo homer to Reddick. However Hess came back out and pitched an additional inning, ending up non-decisioned on the day. Houston would later take a 2-1 lead on Gonzalez’s RBI-single in the eighth, sending the O’s off to defeat yet again. They almost tied it in the ninth, however a diving catch in center field robbed Nunez of a game-tying hit. I’m not sure how many times I’ve said this, but Houston flat out doesn’t give up.

Manager Buck Showalter spoke after the game, and had many of the same impressions that I expressed here regarding David Hess (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

He was really good. That was fun to watch. It was good to see him end on a good note. I really wanted him to have a good outing. That was good to see. I told him that. I didn’t want to push it any more than that. Anytime you see a young pitcher go against a good team for a third time around the batting order and still be able to get outs, that’s good to see.

Don’t downplay the affect of having an outing like that be the final look a player gets this season. Indubitably Hess will spend a lot of time analyzing his various outings this year in the off season. But when he gets to the end of the line, this is what will cross his mind.

The O’s will have a long day today with a single-admission doubleheader against Houston at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start in game on for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Justin Verlander. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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