Miami Marlins' starter Jose Fernandez entered the second start of his rookie campaign against the Washington Nationals with a (7-0) record in 13 starts at home in Marlins Park in 2013 in which the 21-year-old Cuban-born right-hander taken out of Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa, Florida with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 Draft had posted a 1.29 ERA with a 2.12 FIP while holding opposing hitters to a .169/.231/.224 line over 84 IP in which he had walked 23 (2.46 BB/9) and struck out 94 (10.07 K/9) before tonight's game. Just one of those starts was against the Nats, however, who connected for four hits and took three walks in six innings against the starter in a mid-July outing in which Fernandez held them to just one earned run in what ended up a 2-1 Marlins' win in which he received no decision.
In what might be the final start of the season for Jose Fernandez, he retired the Nationals in order on 11 pitches in the first, four of which hit 99 mph on the radar gun in his lime green walled home park.
Dan Haren's night did not get off to as good a start. The 32-year-old, 11-year major leaguer loaded the bases before recording an out, giving up a leadoff double, a walk and a single in front of Giancarlo Stanton, who took Haren's 11th pitch to center for a two-run single that scored Chris Coghlan and Donovan Solano to make it 2-0 in the first. A sac fly by Placido Polanco scored Christian Yelich from third to make it 3-0 Fish. Haren got the next two outs without further damage, but he was up to 22 pitches after one in Marlins Park.
A 13-pitch, 1-2-3 second for Jose Fernandez had him up to 24 pitches after two scoreless frames. Dan Haren was up to 36 pitches when he completed a scoreless second in spite of injuring his right hand on an ill-advised barehand stab at a chopper back to and over the mound by Fernandez that bounced off Haren's fingers.
Fernandez was up to 14 pitches in the third and 38 pitches overall when he struck Dan Haren out to retire the first nine batters he faced tonight in order. Haren issued a one-out walk to Giancarlo Stanton, who was 3 for 7 career vs the Nats' starter after his first inning hit, and it cost Haren when Logan Morrison hit a first-pitch fastball into the second deck in right field on the next pitch he threw for a two-run home run and a 5-0 Marlins' lead. Haren's 22-pitch inning pushed him up to 60 overall after three. Morrison's sixth home run of the year had Miami up by five.
Corey Brown was the tenth straight batter retired by Jose Fernandez and the sixth to strike out. Adeiny Hechavarria made a strong throw from deep in the hole at short to beat Ryan Zimmerman to first for out no.11 and Bryce Harper rolled no.12 out to second to end a 12-pitch fourth inning that had the Marlins' starter up to 50 pitches overall.
Dan Haren was done after 58 pitches, replaced on the mound by Fernando Abad in the home-half of the frame. Jose Fernandez had two more hits than the Nats after he singled on a hanging curve from the Nats' lefty after his grounder back to the mound and off Haren's hand in the second. Chris Coghlan collected the second straight hit on a grounder to the right side that bounced off Steve Lombardozzi and into right. Both runners advanced on a fly to right by Donovan Solano that pushed Jayson Werth back to the track and a walk to Christian Yelich loaded the bases for Giancarlo Stanton for the second time tonight. Stanton spit on a 2-2 curve in the dirt to take the count full before he struck out swinging through a 95 mph fastball up high from Abad. Logan Morrison K'd swinging over a 1-2 curve in the dirt, leaving it at 5-0 Fish after four in Miami.
Jayson Werth flew out to right on Jose Fernandez's 51st pitch. 13 straight. Ian Desmond fell behind 0-2 and K'd swinging through a 99 mph heater. 14 outs. 54 pitches. Adam LaRoche fought back from 0-2 to get to a full count and took a backdoor curve for ball four and the first walk, ending Fernandez's bid for a perfect game. Wilson Ramos hit a fly to right that preserved the no-hitter, however. 15 of 16 set down. 62 pitches overall after a 12-pitch frame. 5-0 Marlins. Erik Davis should have had a quick, 1-2-3 5th, but Ryan Zimmerman's throw to first on a two-out grounder was well short of the base and wide, pulling Adam LaRoche off the bag. E:5. No.21 of 2013 for the Nationals' third baseman. 15th throwing error. Three pitches later, Davis had a scoreless, 10-pitch inning. 5-0 Fish.
Donovan Solano handled a sharp grounder to second from Steve Lombardozzi to retire the 16th of 17 Nationals' batters to start the game. Zach Walters, in his first major league at bat, sent a 2-2 curve rolling toward third for a swinging bunt that died on the grass for an infield single that ended Jose Fernandez's no-hit bid. First MLB hit for Walters. He got doubled up on a Corey Brown grounder to second in the next at bat though. Six scoreless for the Marlins' starter. 11-pitch inning. 73 overall. Chris Coghlan singled off Nats' lefty Xavier Cedeno to start Miami's sixth. A bloop single to right by Donovan Solano fell in for a hit that sent Coghlan around to third and he scored when Christian Yelich grounded into a force at second in the next at bat, 6-0 Marlins.
Bryce Harper took the second walk of the night from Jose Fernandez with one down in the top of the seventh, but two outs and two Ks later, Harper was stranded at first at the end of a 21-pitch inning that had the Marlins' starter up to 94 overall after seven. 6-0 Fish. Ryan Mattheus gave up a two-out single, but completed a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning after 11 pitches.
Chad Qualls took over for Jose Fernandez in the top of the eighth, surrendering the second infield hit of the game when Adam LaRoche bounced one off the pitcher for a leadoff single. Wilson Ramos hit one back to the mound too, but it starter a 1-4-3 when Qualls fielded the ball and threw to second to start the DP. Steve Lombardozzi's groundout to second ended the Nationals' eighth. 6-0 Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton made it 7-0 with a two-out solo home run out over the wall between the Clevelander and the Red Grooms' HR sculpture in Marlins Park. HR no.19 of 2013 for Stanton.
Brad Hand took the mound in the top of the ninth and retired the Nationals in order. 7-0 Marlins final.
[sad trombone sound]
Nationals now 71-69