Giancarlo Stanton left tonight's game with a hamstring injury. If the pained expression on his face was indicative of the seriousness of the injury, the Marlins could be without their slugger for a significant period.
Stanton grimaced after crossing the bag at first, reached for his right hamstring, hopped twice on one leg, and tumbled to the ground after trying to beat out a nubber in the 10th inning. The Marlins later announced that Stanton had a strained right hamstring.
The timing is never good for the Marlins when Stanton is out. But the latest setback with their top player comes just when it looked like he had re-discovered his home run stroke. Now he's out indefinitely.
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.