SAN FRANCISCO -- A rough eighth inning in Monday's 9-8 loss to the Giants notwithstanding, David Hernandez has been on quite a roll.
Before allowing a pair of runs in the opener at AT&T Park, Hernandez had not been scored on his his previous 12 appearances and had allowed just two runs over 23 2/3 innings for a 0.76 ERA in 24 outings since July 4."Sometimes you're unlucky, and so far I've been pretty fortunate," Hernandez said. "I've limited the baserunners, which always helps."
What Hernandez has also done is limit the damage when he does give up a run. Hernandez had an outstanding 2011 season, but he struggled with big innings. He had three appearances last year in which he allowed four or more runs. This year the most earned runs he's allowed in an outing is three, and he did that only once. The key has been making adjustments while an inning is going on, something he recently talked to young pitchers Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs about. "He was telling those guys you figure out a way to fix things in the at-bat so you can [avoid putting] yourself in a bad situation," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think he understands what pitches in what situations he has confidence to throw. He knows his stuff better." During Spring Training, Hernandez adjusted where he stands on the rubber, moving from the first-base side to the third-base side. "I just feel like with my arm angle, my arm slot, it makes it a little bit tougher for right-handed hitters," he said. "I face more right-handed hitters than I do left-handed, so I thought that might help me a little bit, and it's helped me so far."