Marlins starter Jose Fernandez was staked to a 5-0 lead after three innings, but in reality, all he needed was one run given how dominant he looked against the Indians tonight. The 20-year-old Cuban struck out 14 batters over eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. In his previous start against the Pirates, he struck out 13 and walked none in eight innings. He now has a 2.54 ERA and continues to pad his case for the NL Rookie of the Year and NL Cy Young awards.
The bulk of the Marlin offense tonight came from first baseman Logan Morrison, who went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in. Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jake Marisnick also contributed three hits apiece. The Fish scored five against Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who lasted four innings. They then added a five-spot in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Matt Albers.
The 14-strikeout performance is Fernandez’s first of the season and the seventh overall in baseball this year. Yu Darvish has accomplished the feat four times, including last night, while Chris Sale and Anibal Sanchez have done it once each.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.