Jose Fernandez's two previous starts weren't nearly as impressive as his first two, and the Marlins think they know why. Manager Mike Redmond said Fernandez was tipping his pitches.
"Hopefully that part of it has been cleaned up," Redmond said Monday before Fernandez was set to face the Mets' Matt Harvey in a showdown of two of the majors' top young guns. "Those are things we're always looking for."
Redmond said Fernandez was tipping three of his pitches in the way he held the ball in his glove just before starting his delivery. Both the Reds and Twins put up big innings against the 20-year-old rookie with Minnesota hitters often going after Fernandez's first pitch.
"He was holding a fastball here, a change-up was out here and the curveball was up here," Redmond said, demonstrating to reporters. "There was like three different spots. The good thing is we caught it."
Redmond said simply knowing what pitch is coming doesn't guarantee success for a hitter.
"Johan Santana tipped his pitches, too, and nobody ever hit them," Redmond said. "It was so obvious. But he still give up two runs on four hits every game. And everybody knew what was coming, but still couldn't hit it."
Marlins: 1. Pierre, lf; 2. Solano, 2b; 3. Stanton, rf; 4. Polanco, 3b; 5. Dobbs, 1b; 6. Ruggiano, cf; 7. Brantly, c; 8. Green, ss; 9. Fernandez, p.
Mets: 1. Baxter, rf; 2. Turner, 3b; 3. Murphy, 2b; 4. Duda, lf; 5. Buck, c; 6. Davis, 1b; 7. Tejada, ss; 8. Valdespin, cf; 9. Harvey, p.