You can definitely make a strong case about Miami Marlins right-handed youngster Jose Fernandez being the best pitcher in baseball right now. His start Tuesday night against division foe Atlanta Braves went just about as well as his start against the Braves last week.
Fernandez outdueled Alex Wood in his latest start. He lasted eight innings allowing just two hits while striking out eight batters. In his last two starts against the Braves, Fernandez has totaled 22 strikeouts, five hits, no runs and only two walks. He has 55 strikeouts this season. His incredible line is something that has not been matched yet this season. He only slipped once this year against the Philadelphia Phillies.
It is still very early in the season, but with Fernandez finished pitching in April, you can definitely put him at or near the top of the National League Cy Young award candidates. He is becoming more prolific in each start and even more important is that the Marlins are starting to score runs for him.
Helping Fernandez is the absence of last year’s NL Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has been sidelined with injury for most of April and is not expected to return until the first full week of May. Fernandez has a head start on Kershaw, which was thought to be his only competition this year.
Fernandez picked up his fourth win of the season Tuesday. He did not achieve that feat until June 13 last year. It is safe to say that barring injury, Fernandez is going to pitch deep into the season and the Marlins are going to be more dangerous than last year. Behind his pitching prowess, there is no team that should take Miami lightly this season.