Has the corner been turned? Can we come out from under the covers? Can we take the hand away from our eyes?
Jonathan Hernandez has now had three relief appearances in a row without giving up a run.
It’s not yet time to etch the 2023 Cy Young award trophy with his name on it. But three in a row is better than the three relief appearances before that in which he gave up three runs, three runs and two runs.
When it comes to relief pitching, zero runs allowed is better than eight.
If Hernandez can find the level of success he’s had in the past, the Rangers bullpen woes can start to be solved. Right now, there is only one arm in the pen Rangers manager Bruce Bochy can count on, that’s Will Smith. He came into the season expecting to be the eighth inning guy to get to Hernandez or Jose Leclerc, both who have failed miserably.
Hernandez’s brief stretch of success hasn’t come without drama. With his two innings of work yesterday, he’s thrown four innings in those last three appearances, allowing three hits and a walk. You can’t expect a guy to be perfect, but isn’t exactly fooling anyone or blowing away hitters. And that’s what is causing all the runs he has been allowing. He is hittable. And he is walking too many. Ten walks in 20.2 innings does not lead to success for a relief pitcher. And it hasn’t.
But it’s all about runs. His three appearances in a row without giving up a run, earned or otherwise, is huge for Hernandez, huge for the Rangers, and huge for Bochy.
Now, if they can just get Burke, Leclerc, King, Barlow, and Sborz figured out.