Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Jose Fernandez can set Marlins pitching record

MIAMI — Former Alonso standout Jose Fernandez can set a Marlins record tonight as he tries to win a ninth consecutive start. The game at Arizona starts at 10 (Fox Sports Florida).

Fernandez (9-2, 2.29 ERA) is tied with Chris Hammond for the team record. The right-hander's stats — 1.38 ERA and 78 strikeouts over the past eight starts — are surpassed by just two other pitchers during an eight-game win streak (Randy Johnson in 1999-2000 and Clayton Kershaw in 2014).

In his most recent win, Fernandez struck out 14 Mets in seven shutout innings. He became only the third pitcher to strike out at least 14 without allowing a walk or a run in a start of seven innings or less.

"He's just got a presence up there, and an attitude that works in his favor," Mets OF Michael Conforto said. "He definitely rides on that emotion, and he does a great job of not getting too carried away with it. I think he's a great competitor."

Manager Don Mattingly has lobbied Fernandez to dial back his emotions, with some success. Against the Mets, Fernandez's fastball was often clocked at less than 95 mph, and he picked his spots to ratchet up to his more typical 97 or 98.

"We just continue to see him not be max effort all the time, and that's what we like," Mattingly said. "He's pitching with his change-up, he's using his breaking ball, he's changing speeds even with his fastball. We see a more under-control Jose as far as making pitches and maturity toward pitching. But then we still get to see the emotional kid who likes to compete, and it's fun to watch."

When Fernandez is in a jam, his approach has changed. He describes the objective: "Try to make a pitch and not try to do too much, not go crazy."

"A lot of it is location and making the right pitches at the right time," Fernandez said. "I like to throw 155 mph every pitch, but there are things you learn, and you become a pitcher and not just a guy who has good stuff."

YANKEES INJURY ISSUES: Chris Parmelee became the fourth Yankees first baseman on the disabled list, joining Mark Teixeira, Greg Bird and Dustin Ackley. Parmelee injured his right hamstring while stretching to grab a throw Thursday. Rookie Rob Refsnyder is likely to play first regularly in the short term, and Nick Swisher is available in Triple A.

BRAVES: INF Jace Peterson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

mets: Recently acquired utility man Kelly Johnson, a former Ray, was activated.

PHILLIES: RHP Vince Velasquez went on the 15-day disabled list with a right biceps strain and RHP Luis Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

REDS: CF Billy Hamilton went on the seven-day concussion list, opening a spot to activate RHP Anthony DeSclafani off the 60-day disabled list to start Friday night. DeSclafani is the Reds' 11th different starter this season.

TWINS: RH relievers Phil Hughes (bruised left knee) and Trevor May (lower-back spasms) went on the 15-day disabled list.

WHITE SOX: Top prospect Tim Anderson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte and SS Jimmy Rollins was designated for assignment. Anderson, a 22-year-old shortstop, batted .304 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in 55 games with Charlotte. Rollins hit .221 in 41 games. Also, CF Austin Jackson will likely miss at least six weeks because of a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. Surgery is scheduled for next week.

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