National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 8th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (43-69) at Pittsburgh Pirates (69-44), 12:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.54)
Pittsburgh - Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.69)
(Sports Network) - Not many things have gone right for the Miami Marlins this
season. However, the emergence of 21-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez has
been one of them.
Fernandez goes after his fourth straight win on Thursday and will try to help
the Marlins salvage the finale of their three-game set with the Pittsburgh
Pirates at PNC Park.
The Cuban-born first round pick from 2011 was at his absolute best on Friday,
as he struck out 14 and limited the Cleveland Indians to just a pair of hits
in eight scoreless innings to run his record to 8-5, while lowering his ERA to
Fernandez, who had never pitched above Single-A before this season, leads the
Marlins in wins, ERA, strikeouts (138), as well as innings pitched (127 2/3).
He's also tops among rookies in ERA, strikeouts and opponents' batting average
"I've watched this kid over the course of the year," Marlins manager Mike
Redmond said. "I can't imagine there being a better rookie than him."
Over his last four starts Fernandez is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA. One of those wins
came against the Pirates two starts ago, as he held the National League
Central leaders to two runs in eight frames.
Pittsburgh, though, has reeled off eight wins in 10 games since that loss to
Fernandez. On Wednesday, Charlie Morton worked seven effective innings and
drove in a run in the Pirates' 4-2 triumph.
Morton (4-3) gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts, and his fifth-
inning single tied the score one batter before the deciding run came home.
"I don't want to put anything on the shoulders of anybody else," Morton said
talking about his previous struggles. "I want to go out there and do my job."
Mark Melancon tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save.
Andrew McCutchen homered and Pedro Alvarez drove in the other run for the
Pirates, who have taken the first two in the series and 13 of their last 18
Donovan Solano contributed an RBI single for the Marlins, losers in four
straight and six of nine.
"We're just having a tough time right now stringing hits together," said
Redmond. "It seems like if we get a couple of guys on, we hit into a double
play or line out. We've had some good at bats but we haven't been able to
string them together."
Tom Koehler (3-7) lasted five frames in defeat, charged with seven runs and
three hits, despite fanning eight.
Hoping to add to the Marlins' misery on Thursday will be right-handed rookie
Gerrit Cole, who has lost five of his last six starts. Cole's latest loss came
on Friday against Colorado, as he allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1/3
innings to fall to 5-5 to go along with a 3.69 ERA.
Cole, also a 2011 first round pick, lost to Fernandez and the Marlins in that
July 28 start, surrendering three runs in seven innings of work.
The Pirates swept the Marlins in three games the last time the clubs played in
Pittsburgh, from July 20-22 in 2012.
08/08 10:21:21 ET