Baltimore Orioles: Concern over Felix Hernandez?

Feliz Hernandez had another rough outing this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles. Hernandez’s fastball once again topped out in the mid-80’s, which was concerning. Granted he’ll have other opportunities to show what he has, but that probably isn’t going to cut it in regular season play. Hernandez’s line: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 earned), 0 BB, 1 K.

The zero walks is a good sign. That means he was locating his pitches well. There just wasn’t the velocity that he would have liked. Despite the results, Hernandez was encouraged by this outing:

It was better (this time). I was throwing a lot of strikes and attacking the zone. I felt really good. The results were not what I want, but I felt good.

Quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports

It’s good that Hernandez felt better this time out. But he’s going to need to get some velocity on his fastballs, and quick.

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Yolmer Sanchez smacked an RBI-single to center. However Pittsburgh immediately tied the game back up at one in the last of the first on Frazier’s RBI-double. One inning later Alford’s two-run homer gave them a 3-1 lead.

But the good news is that Oriole bats came alive today, and the Birds fought back. Ryan Mountcastle‘s RBI-double in the third tied the game at three. Pat Valaika added an RBI-single, and Ramon Urias an RBI-double later in the inning. And the Orioles actually held a 5-3 lead in the game.

But Pittsburgh chipped away. Stallings’ RBI-single chased Felix Hernandez in the last of the third. One inning later Alford would score on a wild pitch, tying the game. Pittsburgh would take the lead in the seventh on a Craig solo homer, and a Pabst RBI-double. And the Birds fell on this day, 7-5.

The Orioles return to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. John Means gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Zach Wheeler. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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