Jose Fernandez didn't follow up on claim he'd lob one to David Ortiz at ASG
"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," said Fernandez
Update: Jose Fernandez in fact had the chance to serve up a homer to David Ortiz, facing him in the third inning of the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
After sending in an 80 mph offering just outside the strike zone on his first pitch, the Marlins ace buckled down against the Red Sox legend, sitting in the mid-90s on his next pitches. Ortiz worked the count full and then laid off a pitch that slipped away from Fernandez and flew by Ortiz's feet in the dirt.
Ortiz then playfully exchanged words with Fernandez on his way to first base before being removed to a standing ovation from his AL teammates, who came out to the field to greet the retiring slugger on the memorable night.
Here's what Ortiz had to say on his showdown with Fernandez, per MLB.com:
Ortiz: "I was supposed to hit a HR in my 2nd AB. My boy told me he was gonna throw nothing but fastballs, & he threw a 1st-pitch changeup."— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 13, 2016
Story: Tuesday night, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will play in the 10th and final All-Star Game of his Hall of Fame career. He's in the middle of a remarkable season but insists he will not change his mind and come back for another year.
Marlins righty and fellow All-Star Jose Fernandez is a big fan of Ortiz, like many people. Unlike most, Fernandez has to opportunity to compete against Big Papi on the field. He told ESPN's Marly Rivera that if he gets to face Ortiz in the All-Star Game, he hopes he gives up a home run.
"I would love to face David," Fernandez told ESPN's Marly Rivera on Monday. "It would be a dream come true for me ... I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run."
Fernandez added he won't throw full speed to Ortiz either. "90 miles per hour, so there is no chance that he fouls them or misses them," he said. Fernandez has averaged 95.0 mph and topped out at 98.9 mph with his fastball this season, per PitchFX.
Ortiz and Fernandez have never faced each other during the regular season. The Red Sox and Marlins played a pair of two-game series last season, but Fernandez did not pitch in any of the four games. The two clubs won't play this year either, so this All-Star Game is their last chance to square off.
Fernandez certainly wouldn't be the first pitcher to groove a pitch to a legend in the All-Star Game. Two years ago Adam Wainwright kinda sorta admitted to throwing Derek Jeter a cookie in his final All-Star Game. That created a bit of a stir. And, of course, Chan Ho Park totally grooved one to Cal Ripken Jr. in his final All-Star Game back in 2001:
I imagine the pitches Fernandez throws Ortiz on Tuesday night will look very similar to that one.
Remember though, the All-Star Game counts! Home field advantage in the World Series is on the line. That's not enough to stop Fernandez, whose Marlins currently sit in postseason position, from grooving a pitch to one of his idols.
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