Jose Fernandez will look set a major league record and improve to 17-0 at home when he makes his final start of the season at Marlins Park Friday night against the visiting Braves.
Fernandez, 16-0 with 1.11 ERA in 25 career starts at Marlins Park, tied LaMarr Hoyt and John Allen for the most home wins without a loss to begin a career when he made his last appearance here against the Nationals Sept. 12.
"I know that it's there [the record]. I'm going to try and do my best. That doesn't mean I'm going to go out there and try any harder because I'm going to break the record," said Fernandez who in five career starts against Atlanta is 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA.
"Sometimes less is more -- I have a friend that tells me that all the time."
Fernandez (5-0, 2.18 ERA in nine starts in 2015) ramped up his workload from 69 pitches to 95 pitches in his previous start at Washington Sept. 18. Finishing the season strong -- and solving the mystery as to why he's just 5-8 with 3.82 ERA in 20 career road starts -- are what he says he’s most concerned with.
“There's nothing more that I want than to be healthy like I was in 2013,” said Fernandez, who after coming back from Tommy John surgery in July spent a month on the disabled list with a right biceps strain before returning Sept. 12.
“Everybody says the first year after surgery you aren't completely back. But I feel good right now. I just want to finish strong.”
CAPPS, HECHAVARRIA ‘CLOSE’
Reliever Carter Capps (right elbow strain) and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (left hamstring) both participated in simulated games Thursday at Marlins Park and are close to returning according to manager Dan Jennings.
“Capps threw the ball very well,” Jennings said. “I’ve got to say based on what he just featured out there [he's] pretty close to ready or if not ready. Hech, we had two of our young men in instructional league drive down. It was good for him to track some balls live. Both guys are very close to being ready to go and go full tilt.”
Jennings said Hechavarria could be available to pinch-hit or play defense Thursday against the Phillies.
Rookie first baseman Justin Bour belted his 19th home run of the season Wednesday, tying him for third with the Astros’ Carlos Correa among major league rookies. Only the Cubs’ Kris Bryant (26) and Dodgers' Joc Pederson (25) have hit more.
Bour’s homers are the most by a Marlins rookie since Giancarlo Stanton hit 22 and Gaby Sanchez hit 19 in 2010 and ranks tied for sixth all-time behind Dan Uggla’s 27 homers as a rookie in 2006.