Jordan Yamamoto goes for his second win in as many appearances for the Miami Marlins when they face the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Following a 5-0 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Monday night, Yamamoto is being asked to follow up his seven-inning gem and pray his teammates can score some runs along the way. Despite a solid outing once again by Elieser Hernandez, the youngster suffered another loss.
"“Really good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Hernandez via MLB.com. “I’m really happy with his outing. He was aggressive, throwing strikes. Mixing pitches. Really good to see."
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"“We’ve always talked about him, he’s a sharp kid,” Mattingly said. “He pitches fearlessly. Throwing strikes. On the attack. Using all of his pitches. A pitch up, a pitch down. Slider. Changeup. He threw the ball well.”"
Yamamoto’s last outing was just a taste of what the strikeout pitcher can do if given run support. Miami knocked in nine runs last week to support the neophyte who looked every bit a seasoned veteran at home. Now playing in St. Louis, Yamamoto faces a tough team to beat on their home turf.
The 23-year-old scattered three hits and struck out five batters in his last outing. His last appearance in Jacksonville was impressive. He did not factor in the decision, leaving in a 2-2 tie game, but he did strike out nine batters over five innings.
The need to impress tonight is a bit more important as the Marlins have learned that starting pitcher Caleb Smith could be available for the rotation sooner than expected. The lefty was placed on the 10-day I.L. with inflammation in his right hip but was cleared to begin a throwing program with the hope of his imminent return.
The Marlins have a decision to make. With Jose Urena now on the 60-day I.L. with a lower back injury, Smith’s return leaves one spot open in the rotation. Which pitcher will stay on the 25-man roster and who will be sent down to the minors? Right now, it would appear to be a coin flip decision.
The Marlins will face Jack Flaherty tonight who has a 4-3 record with a 4.28 ERA and 81 strikeouts this season. The right-hander is trying to bounce back from giving up four runs in 5 ½ innings last Thursday against the New York Mets.