The Miami Marlins got out to a 5-0 lead against the Cleveland Indians, but the story of the night was not the five runs the Fish scored early against Ubaldo Jimenez. The story of the night was clearly rookie phenom Jose Fernandez, who had another career-best game in a season full of spectacular performances.
Tonight, while the Fish were racking up hits and runs, Fernandez was preventing all of them. After eight innings, he allowed just three hits and one walk, with a ridiculous career-high 14 strikeouts to his name. That bests his previous career high, which he actually just set last week versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that game, Fernandez whiffed 13 batters and walked none. Tonight, against a significantly better offense, Fernandez upped his game by just a little more, blanking the Indians that currently rank third in the league in run scoring and third in wOBA.
Over the last two games, Fernandez has struck out 27 batters in just 16 innings, and he has now lowered his season ERA of 2.54 and his FIP to 2.80. That leads all rookies in important pitching statistics, including that of Shelby Miller, his primary competitor for the Rookie of the Year award at the moment. With the Fish planning on limiting Fernandez's innings, these sorts of iconic performances are going to be important to stick out in the minds of voters come Rookie of the Year tallying.
Jose Fernandez continues to impress Miami and its fans, and he continues to beat himself even when his previous marks are otherworldly. There appears to be no ceiling to Fernandez's excellence.