Fernandez allowed just three unearned runs in seven innings of work, as he was tagged for a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning after a pair of errors by catcher Jarros Saltalamacchia that would have ended the inning.
Besides that one mistake pitch, Fernandez was nearly flawless. He limited the Nationals to just four hits without walking a batter, while striking out a season-high 10 batters on just 97 pitches. He settled for a no-decision as the bullpen crumbled upon his exit.
Fernandez has tossed a quality start in three of his four trips to the mound, and is 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He has struck out 33 batters while walking just 6 in 23 2/3 innings of work heading into his next start, Tuesday against the Braves.
Fernandez completed just four innings, just the fourth time in his career he has failed to complete five innings. He had trouble finding the strike zone all night, matching a career high with four walks, including three in the third inning, one of which borught in the go-ahead run.
Fernandez got into the fifth inning, but allowed four straight hits before being pulled. He was charged with six runs on eight hits and four walks in four innings, though he also struck out six, including each batter in the third and fourth innings.
Fernandez's ERA rose to 3.78 with this start, after he had allowed just one run in his first two starts. He will try to get back on track in his next start, scheduled for Wednesday against the Nationals.
Fernandez nearly matched his career high in pitches, as he reached 108 in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 69 of those for strikes, while striking out eight and walking just two in his six-plus scoreless innings.
Fernandez allowed just three singles in the outing, and has now allowed just one extra-base hit in 12 2/3 innings of work. He is now 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and just two walks in 12 2/3 innings to open the season, while allowing just one run. His next start is set for Friday in Philadelphia.
It was an excellent opener for the young phenom, who threw 73 of his 94 pitches for strikes and didn't walk a batter while earning the win. His lone mistake came against Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. He's square off against the Padres at home Saturday.
"I tried my best to throw strikes, but obviously it didn’t happen," Fernandez said, per the Sun-Sentinel. "Hopefully six days from now it’s going to be better."
Fernandez struggled from the start Tuesday, as Daniel Descalso had an RBI triple, Matt Holliday had an RBI groundout and Peter Bourjos had an RBI single in the first inning. Fernandez would settle down until allowing two more runs in the fourth inning on singles to Pete Kozma and Kolten Wong. Fernandez was in line for the loss until Miami rallied for a 6-5 win.
"You could tell he was having to really grind it out," manager Mike Redmond said. "Maybe he wasn’t quite as sharp with his pitches…When you go against those good lineups, you try to limit the damage. Overall, he got his pitches in."
Fernandez saw his ERA jump from 2.30 to 3.54. In fact, it has gone from 0.93 to 3.54 in his last two starts. He has managed 19 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/18/2014 vs Seattle|
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|Complete Game Log|
| 13 |
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