Miami Marlins’ Jose Fernandez changes approach with same dominating results

cspencer@MiamiHerald.comMay 1, 2014 Updated 9 hours ago

As if Jose Fernandez wasn’t hard enough to solve, Braves hitters encountered a different pitcher Tuesday night than the one they faced seven days earlier in Atlanta.

Fernandez threw far more changeups in the second outing.

“I threw a lot more changeups than ever before [Tuesday night],” Fernandez said. “Maybe 30. I was impressed I threw that many.”

Fernandez, in fact, threw 18 changeups — 16 more than he threw against the Braves at Turner Field.

The result was the same: The Braves failed to score off Fernandez both times.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said that changing the approach from one outing to the next, especially when facing division rivals, is crucial for any pitcher. It’s just that most don’t have Fernandez’s vast arsenal of pitches.

“The beauty is, he can use a lot of changeups and change his approach from start to start,” Redmond said. “You see what it does to hitters. Guys are geared up for 97 [mph], nobody wants a slider, and the next thing you know, you get a changeup and it looks like the bottom just kind of drops off of it. It’s a huge weapon.”

ill feelings

Jeff Baker ended an 0-for-25 drought with a sharp single in Tuesday’s sixth inning, but he wasn’t around Wednesday to talk about it. The reason: Redmond said Baker has food poisoning and told him to skip the pregame workouts in order to get it out of his system.

“That’s why I had to take him out [Tuesday night], because he was throwing up during the game,” Redmond said.

Baker was replaced with a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

• After going 3 for 4 in his first game back from the disabled list, Ed Lucas was back in the starting lineup Wednesday and played second.

When it comes to penciling in his second baseman, Redmond said he will “mix and match” from a stable that includes Lucas, Derek Dietrich and Donovan Solano.

“It is kind of a luxury that we have that flexibility and versatility,” Redmond said. “We’re playing 21 straight games, so there’s probably going to be some days off for guys in the infield.”

Redmond said he’ll try to give the occasional day off to third baseman Casey McGehee, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton over the upcoming stretch of games.

•  Rafael Furcal (hamstring, groin) could begin a rehab stint within a few days at Triple A New Orleans.

Coming up

•  Thursday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.73 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Ervin Santana (3-0, 1.95), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

•  Friday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-2, 2.97) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (TBA), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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