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Jose Fernandez strikes out 14 batters, joins 500 strikeout club in a no-decision

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Jose Fernandez was dominant but inefficient in a no-decision against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, striking out 14 batters over 6 1/3 innings. He yielded two runs on four hits and a pair of walks, using 104 pitches.

The Phillies scored their first run in the first inning. Odubel Herrera doubled to lead off the game and later came around to score on a Maikel Franco ground out. Tommy Joseph drilled a solo home run to lead off the seventh. Fernandez would strike out Cody Asche, then walked Freddy Galvis before being pulled from the game. The Marlins fought back for two runs to tie the game with two outs in the ninth inning against Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez. They pushed across one more on a Martin Prado solo home run in the top of the 11th to eventually win 3-2.

Phillies starter Aaron Nola, making his first start since July 2, out-pitched Fernandez. He blanked the Marlins on two hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings. Nola was hit in the right shoulder by an Adeiny Hechavarria line drive, but stayed in the game and completed the inning.

Fernandez’s 10th strikeout of the game, against Asche in the fourth inning, was the 500th of his career. He is the third-fastest to 500 strikeouts behind Doc Gooden and Yu Darvish, according to MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account.

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After Monday’s no-decision, Fernandez is 11-4 with a 2.53 ERA and a 168/33 K/BB ratio in 113 2/3 innings.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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