The Major League debut of Jose Fernandez went about as well as the Miami Marlins could have hoped until he left the game. The phenom set a Marlins record by striking out eight batters in his debut. Unfortunately with a pitch limit in place, Fernandez was lifted after five innings and it all went downhill from there. At the end of the day, the New York Mets came away 4-3 winners on Sunday to send Miami to a last place tally of 1-5.
The 20 year old right-hander was poised from the start and retired the first ten batters he faced with an electrifying fastball and nasty off-speed complimenting pitches. The Mets were kept off balance and at times looked like they were facing a Cy Young winner instead of a guy who never pitched above A-ball. Fernandez walked one, gave up three hits and allowed one run in his five innings. Before the game, manager Mike Redmond had stated Fernandez was on an 85 pitch limit and he wound up throwing 80 in the game. A.J. Ramos’ early season struggles continued as he allowed a run in his lone inning of work. In the ninth, Steve Cishek gave up two runs to pick up his first blown save and loss of the year. The Marlins’ closer now has a 15.43 E.R.A on the year.
The offense did it’s part of getting on base but once again had difficulty adding on which wound up costing the team. Thirteen hits were collected including four doubles but Miami left twelve runners on base. The Marlins were a combined 2-14 with runners in scoring position wasted numerous opportunities to expand the lead early on. One of those doubles came off the bat of Chris Valaika who made his debut for the Marlins in place of Placido Polanco. The utility player wound up with a two hit day and should see time at second, third and possibly first base in the days to come.
Miami heads home on Monday to take on the Atlanta Braves with Kevin Slowey scheduled to make his second start of the year.