Orioles right-hander David Hess likes the strides he is making even though the results sometimes tell a different story.
After flirting with a no-hitter during his first start of the season, Hess has gone winless in his last seven outings, going 0-5 with a 7.03 ERA.
Still, Hess has been pleased with his progress and he is confident those strides will turn into wins.
"We've been doing a lot of work between starts behind the scenes." Hess told PressBox prior to the series opener against the New York Yankees. "The numbers might not reflect it as much as we'd like right now, but there is a lot of improvements we see from an internal standpoint. I think the time is going to come when that is going to show out there just as much as we feel with the work we're putting in."
Hess faces another challenge against the Yankees May 21. During his last start against New York May 15, Hess allowed five runs (four earned) with six hits and six strikeouts and one walk during six innings. However, four of those six hits were solo home runs in the Orioles' 5-3 loss.
"Stuff-wise, it wasn't bad," Hess said about that start. "I need to keep guys off-balance a little better. We'll see how it plays out. But more than anything, I'll to go out there and go right at guys. You have to be on your ‘A' game against them. On any given pitch, if you make a mistake over the middle, they're a team that is going to do damage. So, whether it's your 90th pitch of the game or first pitch of the game, you have to go out there and be locked in."
On the year, Hess has allowed a league-high 14 home runs with seven coming against the Yankees. He is looking to improve on some of those mistakes from his last start against them and string together shutdown innings.
"You have the ability to learn from the last outing -- what you did well, what you want to improve on," Hess said. "There's a little bit of an adjustment factor, just as there is with any team going into a new start."
Despite the home runs in the last outing, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was happy with the way Hess responded, keeping the team in the game and alleviating some pressure on the bullpen during the first part of a doubleheader.
The key now is to keep the ball in the park.
"He gave us six innings," Hyde said. "You're just not going to win games if you give up four homers. Around the four homers I thought he threw the ball really well. It's just the long ball kind of got him again, and it's something he's going to have to work on. But six innings and pitched well around the home runs."
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox