The precious grains of sand are rapidly slipping away through the hourglass of Jose Fernandez’s rookie season as the innings pile up. If Saturday was the final appearance of the season on the mound at Marlins Park for the Cuban phenom the 3-0 victory over the Rockies was a fitting finale for a dominant maiden home campaign. Fernandez (10-5) who came into the game with a major league-leading 1.40 home ERA took it even lower while improving to 7-0 in Miami by holding the Rockies to four hits in seven innings. He extended his streak of allowing two or fewer earned runs to 13 consecutive home starts the longest since 1921 according to STATS LLC. “Frankly it’s been a fun ride” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said prior to the game about watching Fernandez’s rookie run of success. “I think the amazing thing is how humble he remains. “He appreciates the opportunity to be pitching in the big leagues. But at the same time he’s very focused an what he needs to do and what he needs to accomplish to be a successful pitcher in this league for many years to come. I think that’s what separates him from a lot of guys and what makes him such a great player.” To avoid overworking the valuable right-hander barely 21 in his first season the Marlins have imposed a barrier of about 170 innings. Once that is reached Fernandez will be relegated to dugout cheerleader. Saturday’s effort increased the count to 152 2/3 innings. Fernandez could push the needle near the limit in his next two starts which barring a change in the rotation would come during the nine-game three-city trip that begins Tuesday. As to the possibility of another home start for Fernandez Redmond said “He’s going to pitch into September. How far into September is still a mystery. “I think it’s definitely a situation where we know we’re doing the best for him. As I’ve said all year his day will come. But I’m just happy for him and the way he’s gone out and pitched this year. He’s brought a lot of excitement down here in Miami. He’s definitely brought a lot of positive press to this ballclub and this organization when we needed it.” Up against the Dolphins’ exhibition home opener Saturday’s turnout was underwhelming — 23333 paid fewer showed. The buzz under the dome lacked the vibrancy of Monday’s showdown with fellow Cuban defector Yasiel Puig which drew more than 27000 and produced an inspiring win over the red-hot Dodgers.
Fernandez improves to 7-0 at home as Marlins beat Rockies 3-0
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Aug 25