Nunez's new approach

Opponents have detected a pattern with Leo Nunez.

Scouting reports are out, and teams seem to be sitting on first-pitch fastballs. That was the case in the Marlins’ 5-4 loss to the Nationals on Sunday.

Nunez entered in the ninth inning trying to preserve a two-run lead. But the inning started off with Willie Harris teeing off on a first-pitch fastball. The end result was an upper-deck home run to right field.

Cristian Guzman followed with a first-pitch approach. The only pitch Guzman saw he swatted for an infield single. Ryan Zimmerman delivered a two-run, walk-off homer, but it came on Nunez’s third pitch.

On Sept. 2, Nunez also surrendered a home run on his first pitch of the ninth inning. That game, Yunel Escobar sat first-pitch fastball and connected.

“The last few games I feel like they’ve been timing up that first-pitch fastball,” Nunez said through a translater. “In these next games, I have in my mind to vary my pitches a little more.”

In July at San Diego, Kyle Blanks of the Padres opened the ninth inning by homering on Nunez’s first-pitch fastball.

“I feel like it’s been the last three games or so they’ve been jumping on that first pitch,” the Marlins closer said. “But I still have to come in there and challenge guys.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

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