Can Marlins starter Jordan Yamamoto win the final game of his 2019 season and help his team rebound from a rocky night on Wednesday?
Jordan Yamamoto’s start to his Major League career was one of the better stories of the first half of the Miami Marlins season.
The second half of 2019 and the subsequent decline on the mound has been one that has baffled many. For a dominant, strikeout pitcher, dealing with the adjustments to the Majors, along with an injury that sidelined him for a period of time, has been difficult. And in what will be his final start of the season, can he do something only one other pitcher in the Marlins rotation has been able to do?
Can Yamamoto finish 2019 with a .500 record? Facing the Mets won’t be an easy task, but that’s what is in front of the 23-year0old tonight from Citi Field.
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Opponents have had issues this season with Yamamoto slider, which they are hitting a whopping .111 this season. His four-seam fastball has proven to be almost as effective, with a .183 average at the dish. Since making his debut for the parent club from Jacksonville at the Double-A level, 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA and 72 strikeouts.
The Marlins will face Zack Wheeler who is 11-7 this season with a 3.99 ERA so far and 185 strikeouts.
He has pitched five straight games in which he has allowed just one earned run. Three of the last four games he has taken the mound have resulted in a no-decision. Wheeler, a righty, has had success against the Marlins, going 7-2 in 13 starts. He has a 1.77 ERA in those contests.
In last night’s 10-3 loss to the Mets, starting pitcher Robert Dugger once again showed signs of trouble with his control.
"Per MLB.com, “Dugger pitched two innings and allowed seven runs — six earned. He was in trouble starting in the first, when the Mets scored three runs. The following inning, New York added four more. Pete Alonso had the biggest blow, when he hit his 51st homer of the season — a three-run shot. Dugger was done after the inning ended.”"
Wednesday night was the last start of the season for the rookie, who will still remain in the mix to win a starting spot in the rotation. He, Yamamoto and Elieser Hernandez should be in competition for the fourth or fifth spot. The Marlins could also make moves over the offseason to possibly bring in another experienced veteran to provide balance in the starting five.
"“The 24-year-old Dugger made his Major League debut on Aug. 5 at Citi Field after pitching 70 2/3 innings for Double-A Jacksonville and 53 1/3 frames at Triple-A New Orleans,” Bill Ladson wrote. “He finished 0-4 with a 5.77 ERA in seven big league starts (34 1/3 innings).”"