Young Studs Fernandez & Cingrani Set To Duel
The fans who show up to tonight’s game at Great American Ball Park between the Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds will be in for a treat, assuming they are fans of strong, young starting pitching. For the Marlins, Jose Fernandez (20) makes his third big league start, while lefty Tony Cingrani (22) prepares for his first career start, although not his first appearance. Cingrani pitched in 3 games in 2012 out of the bullpen, with one of those appearances being a scoreless inning against the Marlins on September 15th.
There was a bit of talk on the Marlins decision to bring up Fernandez so early, with some calling it a “desperation move” following the sudden DL trips by Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez, considering Fernandez had never held a baseball above high A ball, which he completely dominated to the tune of 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA. However, Fernandez has, at least so far, proved he can handle big league hitters, giving up just a single run in his first 11 innings while walking three and striking out 13. If not for the bullpen failing to hold the lead in both of his starts, Fernandez would be 2-0 at this time. He is coming off of a start in which he went six shut out innings against the Phillies, and even got his first career hit and RBI off of Cole Hamels in the bottom of the fifth inning. Fernandez looks to cool down a Reds offense that scored 11 runs yesterday against the Phillies.
The left-hand throwing Cingrani also found himself having success down in the minor leagues last season, combining to go 10-4 over 25 starts with an ERA of 1.73 between High A and AA before his cup of coffee in the Reds bullpen. This season, the Reds started Cingrani in AAA, where he went 1-0 in three starts and did not allow an earned run, only allowing five base runners in 14.1 innings pitched while striking out an impressive 26 hitters over that span. Cingrani may have an easy task tonight going against the Marlins impotent offense, but that offense is getting a boost with the returning Giancarlo Stanton, who has sat out the last 6 games with a left shoulder injury.
Things to look for in this game:
– A high combined number of strikeouts
– Few base runners
– A close game in the late innings, most likely a game decided by the bullpens
Whatever happens, this game should prove to be exciting.