Baltimore Orioles: A mixed bag of results for Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez made his maiden start for the Baltimore Orioles this evening against Detroit in Sarasota. Of course I probably shouldn’t phrase it that way given that it was a spring training start, but I digress. Hernandez had a mixed bag of results, but not awful given he sat out last season and this was his first outing since. Hernandez’s line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

As I said, it was a mixed bag of results. He sent Detroit down 1-2-3 in the first inning. However he issued two walks and a base hit in the second, allowing Stewart to smack an RBI-single, and Garneau to hit into a Fielder’s Choice-RBI. This gave Detroit a 2-0 lead.

The one noticeable thing regarding Hernandez was his velocity. He seemed to remain in the 84-85 MPH range. This isn’t inconsistent with many aging pitchers. But it’s plain to see that Hernandez has lost the bite for which he was so famous over the years. Nobody’s faulting him for this, but based on just two innings of work it appears to be the case.

But it’s important to note that it’s only one outing, and only two innings at that. Pitchers will often go into spring outings with a plan to work on this pitch or that pitch. So it’s entirely possible that he was working out his off speed stuff. But the pitches did appear to be fastballs.

We’ll just have to see how things progress through the rest of the spring. Keep in mind that Hernandez is on a minor league deal, so there’s no guarantee that he breaks camp with the team. This in theory.

The O’s brought prospect Zach Muckenhirn in to pitch the eighth, and he promptly walked the first three batters before being pulled. Enter Mickey Janis, who gave up a two-RBI single, with the runner taking second on an errant throw.

When the smoke cleared on the eighth inning, Detroit led 6-0. But the Birds would at least get on the board in the bottom of that eighth inning. Jahmai Jones grounded into a Fielder’s Choice-RBI. He was followed by Yusniel Diaz, who’s two-RBI double cut the lead to 6-3.

But the Birds weren’t done yet. They put two runners on base in the last of the ninth, and they scored on Rylan Bannon‘s bloop two-RBI single. But 6-5 would be as close as the Orioles would get, as they fell to Detroit. For the record, this was the first nine-inning game the Orioles have played this spring.

Tomorrow the O’s hit the road again and head to Lecom Park in Bradenton to take on Pittsburgh. John Means gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s JT Brubaker. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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