The Miami Marlins selected right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Two years later, Fernandez is lighting up baseball with his fiery fastballs and his dominant performances for a team that sits in last place of the National League East and has one of the worst records in baseball. Fernandez is the the lone bright spot in a dark and decrepit rotation filled with underachieving young players.
Tuesday night, the 20-year-old is looking for his 10th win of the season. He has made baseball take notice of his ability to strike opposing batters out by using pure force. His 143 strikeouts this season is the most by any rookie pitcher in the league, which is why he is one of the top candidates to win the National League Rookie of the Year this season.
Since June 1, Fernandez has been dominant. He has posted a 1.79 ERA shaking off the butterflies of being a rookie. At one point of the season he has a streak of 18 scoreless innings pitched. The kid is quickly growing up and has become the front line starter the Marlins expected him to be.
However, he is running into a Kansas City Royals team that is destined for a playoff spot. The Royals defeated Miami Monday 6-2, and it is not going to get easier for Miami as the Royals send Bruce Chen to the mound who is 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA this season in five starts. Chen has gone back and forth the between the bullpen and the rotation.
Fernandez is in a big spot here and getting to win No. 10 will be a serious boost toward his rookie of the year resume. This is an important game.