Righty Elieser Hernandez earned his first major league win as a starting pitcher—third win overall—on Friday night at Marlins Park. A big reason why? He succeeded in all three of his matchups with former teammate J.T. Realmuto.
In the first inning, Hernandez escaped a jam by striking out Realmuto swinging with two runners on and two down.
In the top half of the fourth, Hernandez blew three consecutive four-seam fastballs past Realmuto, with all pitches in the 90-92 mph range.
Hernandez faced Realmuto again in the sixth inning. With the veteran catcher representing the potential tying run, the 24-year-old stuck with the formula and got him chasing a high fastball.
This is the only time in Hernandez’s career thus far that he has struck out the same player three times in the same game.
The Marlins bullpen preserved the lead from there. Realmuto came up empty in his final at-bat of the evening, grounding out to third base against Sergio Romo in the ninth.
Although the sample is still limited, the All-Star’s struggles against his former team have been extreme. Through 10 games (35 plate appearances), he owns a .147 batting average and bloated 40% strikeout rate. Compare that to a .293 BA and 24.5 K% versus all other opponents.
Saturday’s probable starter for Miami will be rookie right-hander Jordan Yamamoto.