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Marlins hoping to see Hand who throws strikes

NEW YORK -- When it comes to pitching in the big leagues the formula for success is pretty simple for Brad Hand. It's all about throwing strikes.

The 21-year old left-hander, who will make his seventh big league start Tuesday and first CitiField against the Mets, is 1-3 with a 2.73 ERA. But only two of his starts have lasted six innings or more. Walks have plagued him as he's handed out 21 free passes in 29 2/3 innings thus far.

In the two starts he went beyond six (June 7 vs. Atlanta and July 7 vs. Astros), he's walked just four combined in 13 innings of work, giving up just three combined hits and one earned runs.

"When he's good, he throws strikes," manager Jack McKeon said. "When he's not so good, he doesn't throw strikes. He has some potential. I think young guys sometimes the club they face, sometimes they get intimated. I think sometimes they give the other club's hitters a lot more credit than they need to. Seen that happen with a lot of young guys. When he throws strikes, he has a chance to win, stay in the game."

Hand said Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire has been trying to work with him on his mechanics, specifically staying on top of the ball instead of "getting on the side of the ball."

"Randy told me I was getting on the side of the ball a little bit everything was running off the plate instead of staying down and on it. That's one of the big things I've been working on," Hand said.