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Tonight’s contest between the Columbus Clippers and the Buffalo Bisons featured two starting pitchers with two very different stories. T.J. House, a highly touted prospect for the Cleveland Indians, is trying to push his way into the bigs. Roberto Hernandez, a former regular for the Cleveland Indians (and formerly known as Fausto Carmona), is far from being considered a prospect, but is still battling for a spot on a big league roster all the same.
But how did these two hurlers perform?
The line for T.J. House: 5 innings pitched, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks, 5 hits, and 1 run (1 earned).
House came out of the gate firing, throwing first-pitch strikes to seven out of the first nine batters he faced. Once House reached the third inning, he got a little rattled and got into a long inning. Darrell Ceciliani grounded out to short, then Junior Lake singled and A.J. Jimenez reached on a walk. Both runners would be left on base, but deep counts later in the inning wouldn’t help House's case.
He held the Bisons scoreless in the fourth inning, but three batters went into full counts, including Junior Lake, who struck out to retire the side. By that point, the pitch count was getting pretty high and it would only be a matter of time before T.J. House would hit the showers.
House would go on to complete the fifth inning, where he would give up his only run. A.J. Jimenez doubled to lead off the inning and would score when Devon Travis (on a rehab assignment for Toronto) singled in the very next at bat.
All in all, House had a pretty good outing, but the chips just didn’t fall his way.
The line for Roberto Hernandez: 6 innings pitched, 1 strikeout, 2 walks, 11 hits, 4 runs (4 earned).
Hernandez looked to be off to a somewhat rocky start, as he gave up a run in the first inning when Erik Gonzalez scored on a double by Jesus Aguilar. Hernandez gave up two singles to start off the second inning, but then took the Clippers down in 1-2-3 fashion. He appeared to be settling in nicely at this point.
However, like T.J. House for the Clippers, Hernandez’s third inning got a little interesting. Yandy Diaz (who played much better defensively in this game) reached on a fielder’s choice, and would eventually score on a single by Collin Cowgill. By itself, this would seem like another fairly harmless inning, but then...
Michael Choice ripped a home run to lead off the fourth inning. Hernandez would sit the Clippers down in 1-2-3 fashion after giving up that home run, and all seemed to be right with the world. Hernandez would settle back down again in the fifth, giving up a base hit to Jesus Aguilar (who would later be retired on a fielder’s choice).
The final nail in the coffin for Roberto Hernandez came in the sixth inning when his pitch count began to climb close to the triple digit mark. He gave up a lead off home run to Adam Moore, then walked Michael Choice, and then sat the Clippers down in 1-2-3 fashion.
Hernandez would not re-enter the game in the seventh, the Bisons would not score in the top of the seventh, and after a solid performance…he would not qualify for the win.
After two solid performances by two very different pitchers, neither man qualified for the win. Yes, it feels wrong to type that, but that's the way things work out in baseball sometimes.
Ultimately, the Clippers went on to give up three runs off the arm of Kyle Crockett, Dustin Antolin would come on to get the save in the ninth, and the Bisons would win by a score of 7-4.