This was the first good effort that Fernandez, the former Dodger minor leaguer, has had for awhile. He entered Friday night's game with a 5.57 earned-run average and left with it whittled to 4.93.
"That's the best I've seen him throw all year," Johnson said. "I'm pleased with everything he did. He needed this one more than you can imagine. I think he'll be fine."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, September 13, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 64 words Type of Material: Correction
Home of the Week: The Home of the Week in the Sept. 6 Business section said the master bath of the Cheviot Hills home featured "Carrera marble floors." The floors are from the Manhattan Marble line. Carrara marble -- spelled that way -- is from the city in Italy of the same name. A number of Times articles have misspelled Carrara marble as Carrera.
Carter, the Met catcher who had an RBI triple off Sutton in the fifth inning, said Fernandez's motivation might have been revenge.
"I think it really gave him a lift, doing it against his old club," Carter said.
Quipped Fernandez, when that theory was proposed: "Not really. I never played for them. I mean, I knew them for two spring trainings. But all my Dodger teammates have been released."
Fernando Valenzuela learned this week that his father has been diagnosed with back cancer. Dr. Jose Contreras, the elder Valenzuela's physician in Los Angeles, told the Pasadena Star-News Thursday that Huelino Valenzuela will receive radiation treatment and described the condition as critical. Fred Claire, the Dodgers' executive vice president, said that Valenzuela has not yet asked permission to temporarily leave the team and be with his father. . . . Steve Boros, one of the Dodgers' special assignment scouts, is in Chicago to scout Ricky Horton, the White Sox's left-handed pitcher whom the Dodgers are interested in acquiring. The Dodgers say they need another left-handed reliever following the departure of Brad Havens.
Pitcher Ken Howell's 20-day rehabilitation following off-season right shoulder surgery ends Sunday, and he will be optioned to Albuquerque, Claire said. Howell is expected to clear waivers Wednesday and will then join the club's triple-A affiliate. Howell, who has made three minor league starts during his rehabilitation, was not happy with Claire's decision. He said he felt he should be activated once his rehabilitation stint ends. "I don't understand what the 20-day rehab was for if I'm not ready to pitch," Howell said. "What do I have to do (in Albuquerque) to show them I'm ready? What are they looking for from me? What I don't understand is the signs of when they think I'll be ready. Do I have to go 10-0 down there?" Said Claire: "We've done this to get him ready to pitch at the major league level. I think he's got a chance to live up to the potential he has. He's done everything we've asked so far. I like his attitude." . . . Only three umpires worked Friday night's game because Eric Gregg's mother is ill. A replacement is expected for tonight's game. . . . Tim Belcher (3-1) opposes Dwight Gooden (7-0) tonight at 7.