Although the Miami Marlins did not get any offensive help Friday night in a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, some good did come of it, although it was early. Right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez went out to face the Braves for the first time in his career, and by striking out Chris Johnson on a nasty curveball, Fernandez made the Marlins’ record books.
Fernandez’s 167th strikeout of the season marks the most by any Marlins rookie pitcher in franchise history. Fernandez broke Scott Olsen‘s record of 166 set in 2007. He finished the game with eight strikeouts total, but picked up the loss after allowing two runs in the first.
The legend of Fernandez is quickly growing, and one of a player who was not even supposed to sniff the major-league roster until this time. The 21-year-old was slated to start the season off at Double-A Jacksonville and if it were not for Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez starting the season on the disabled list, you would not be reading any happy, confident Marlins stories this season.
Manager Mike Redmond, a former Marlins player himself, explained to reporters after the game that Fernandez is different from every ace that he caught in his career. Redmond has caught players like Josh Beckett and Johan Santana in his career, and says that Fernandez has more of a feel of how to pitch at such a young age.
That kind of confidence could get Fernandez to the next level.