ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There is something different about Roberto Hernandez. All season, the right-hander has remained a bit of a mystery, his effectiveness fluctuating between "passable" and levels below.
Recently, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon had pointed to Hernandez's lack of run support -- his average of 3.61 runs9 innings ranked fifth-lowest in the American League after Friday -- but other numbers revealed findings as well: Hernandez's 10 losses tied him with the Toronto Blue Jays' R.A. Dickey for second-most in the AL, and his 4.93 ERA was the highest within Tampa Bay's rotation.
So it was fair to say that, at times, the first half of Hernandez's season had become a struggle. To hear his self-evaluation, the secret to his confidence is simple.
Keep the ball down, and good things happen. Don't, and the day can be an adventure.
"Everybody knows I had a lot of losing, but I feel good," said Hernandez, who improved to 5-10 with...