Saturday, March 10, 2001

Fernandez having strong spring

3 shutout innings bring total to 10

By Gary Schatz
Enquirer contributor

Osvaldo Fernandez
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        FORT MYERS, Fla. — With three shutout innings Friday against the Boston Red Sox, Osvaldo Fernandez has gone 10 innings without allowing a run this spring.

        “He's awfully good,” Reds manager Bob Boone said. “He's almost in midseason form right now. It's almost scary.”

        Fernandez walked just one and allowed three hits Fri day. His 10 innings lead the team this spring as he tries to overcome a history of right elbow problems.

        Boone said before the game that Fernandez would be limited to 55 pitches. Fernandez threw 46 by pitching coach Don Gullett's count.

        “He could have gone another inning,” Gullett said.

        “It was a long inning,” Boone said of the Reds' fourth. “I also wanted to see (Hector) Mercado against some left-handers. (Fernandez is) throwing so well.”

        Fernandez was equally pleased.

        “I feel tremendous,” he said through interpreter Mercado. “My ball was moving a lot.”

        Fernandez finished strong last season. He was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five appearances, which included four starts.


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