Elieser Hernandez gets the ball for the final time in the 2021 season as the Marlins face the Mets for the penultimate time this year.
The Marlins enter on a seven-game losing streak as they limp to the finish line of this dreadful season.
On Tuesday, the Marlins were swept in a doubleheader by the Mets that followed a weekend sweep at the hands of the Rays, and dropping two of three to the lowly Nationals before that.
The Marlins now find themselves in the cellar in the NL East again, and have just five games left to find a way out. It begins on Wednesday as Hernandez goes toe-to-toe with Taijuan Walker for the Mets.
Elieser’s Weird Year
It has been quite an interesting season for the Marlins’ 26-year-old right hander. He pitched just 2 1⁄3 innings before getting injured and making his way to the IL a week later.
Hernandez would return on June 3, only to get hurt running the bases in his first start back, landing himself on the 60-day IL this time with a right quad strain. He had gone five innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out six before he was injured.
He would make his return in mid-August and has made seven starts since then. In those starts he has posted a 4.72 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 34 1⁄3 innings.
Elieser Hernandez easy K sequence pic.twitter.com/hjyNZJ7vlR— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 27, 2021
A concern has been Hernandez’s inability to pitch deep into games. He has yet to complete six full innings this season and has pitched into the sixth just twice—his longest start lasted 5 2⁄3 innings.
After a doubleheader in which the Marlins used seven relievers, they will be reliant on Hernandez to give them a good chunk of innings so the bullpen can catch a break.
Rookies Bring The Boom
A bright spot in this late season spiral has been the Marlins young rookies: second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr., right fielder Jesús Sánchez and first baseman Lewin Díaz.
Díaz launched a homer in game one yesterday and Sánchez followed that up with a bomb of his own in game two.
Díaz is now up to eight home runs in just 108 plate appearances—a 40 home run pace over a full season—and Sánchez has added 14 of his own in just 62 games. Sánchez would have been tied with the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Nick Castellanos and Matt Olson in that department during last year’s 60-game season.
The young guns have carried the offense late in the year and provided Marlins fans with signs that an offensive core is developing.
The Marlins will once again turn to their young rookies to provide a spark on Wednesday, and they may be facing just the guy to do so.
The last time the Marlins faced Walker they roughed him up to the tune of four runs on eight hits in 5 2⁄3 innings. They will look to have the same kind of success on Wednesday as they try to snap this seven-game losing streak.