Just when the
It's not like Fernandez was pitching poorly. He had allowed just one run in five innings. But as colleague Al Melchior pointed out on Wednesday's Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, there were some extenuating circumstances. The Marlins sent in a pinch hitter for Fernandez with the tying run at third base in the bottom of the fifth inning. Most likely, if the bases were empty, they would have allowed Fernandez to pitch an extra inning.
Either way, I'm more encouraged by Fernandez's workload last time out than discouraged by his workload in this one. At least now we know the Marlins are willing to him push 100 pitches. If 85 pitches was a hard cutoff, he'd have a hard time making a signifiant Fantasy contribution.
Despite allowing just one run, Fernandez was pulled after throwing five innings and 79 pitches, matching his lowest total of the season. He allowed just a solo home run in the outing, but earned a no-decision in a 7-3 loss.
Fernandez allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out two batters. This was the first time since April 29 that he has not pitched at least six innings in a start. He lowered his ERA to 3.31 through his first nine career starts.
Fernandez is set to make his net start Monday, against the Rays. He has yet to face Tampa Bay in his career.
Thank you, Mike Redmond. Thank you for giving the most exciting 20-year-old this side of Bryce Harper a chance to matter in Fantasy.
Don't get me wrong: Fernandez was looking like a good source of ERA and WHIP and a relatively good source of strikeouts (particularly if measured by inning) before then, but limited to just 85 pitches per start, he wasn't getting enough innings for those ratios to amount to anything.
He may still struggle to win games pitching for the
Fernandez limited the Reds to just two runs in seven innings of work, but exited the game trailing, 2-1. He allowed just five hits and three walks in the game, and he allowed just a single run in each of the fourth and sixth innings.
Fernandez struck out five batters in the game, while throwing 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Fernandez's 99 pitches are the most of his career, and this was just the second time in eight starts that he has finished seven innings of work. The Marlins would go on to lose the game, 5-3, in 10 innings.
Despite having a 3.48 ERA and three quality starts in a row, Fernandez is just 2-2 on the season. He is set to take the mound next Tuesday against the Phillies.
Fernandez is on a 150-170 innings limit, but Redman did not rule out the possibility of the right-hander's pitch count reaching 100.
"It depends on the situation," Redmond told MLB.com. "Maybe in his next start he is at 85 or 90, and we can leave him out there for another inning. I think he's been doing what he's doing. We're at a comfort level right now with his innings and his pitches."
Fernandez will make his next start Thursday against the Reds.
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