Hermida capitalizes on matchup

As Jeremy Hermida was loosening up to pinch-hit in the seventh inning on Friday night, right-hander reliever James McDonald was on the mound.

In the bullpen, lefty Brent Leach was loosening up.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez told Hermida, “You’re probably going to get the lefty.”

That was the case. The Dodgers went with Leach to face the left-handed hitting Hermida. The matchup, this time, worked in Florida’s favor.

On an 2-0 pitch, Hermida ripped a two-out RBI single to right field. The run snapped a tie, and the Marlins went on to win 6-3 over Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.

“It was big for us to be able to come off the bench and do that,” Hermida said.

Gonzalez credits Hermida with the big hit to spark the victory.

“The big knock, for me, was Hermy’s,” Gonzalez said.

Entering the at-bat, Hermida was hitting .179 against left-handed pitching.

“For some reason I haven’t had the same success off lefties as I’ve had in the past,” Hermida said.

After the at-bat, Hermida’s average against left-handers rose to .188 (18-for-96) with three home runs and nine RBIs. Against right-handed pitching, he is hitting .276 with eight homers and 28 RBIs.

A year ago, Hermida enjoyed more success off left-handers — .240 average with five homers and 17 RBIs.

When you look at 2007, you see that he was consistent against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. When going against lefties, he batted .292, compared to .297 off righties.

Until he shows he can produce regularly off left-handed pitchers, the Marlins will be leaning toward giving Brett Carroll more starts in right field. Hermida isn’t in a strict platoon situation, because rookie Chris Coghlan, another left-handed hitter, also has struggled against left-handed pitching.

– Joe Frisaro

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