Initially, the Marlins announced that Fernandez would make his two final starts of the 2013 season at Marlins Park, and that he will not be encouraged to pitch more than six innings in each of those two starts.
However, Fernandez continued to make his case for the National League Rookie of The Year award by pitching seven scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals on Friday night. And after the game, manager Mike Redmond said that there won't be a strict limit for Fernandez's final start.
"Just like we did his last start, we're going to let him go to win the ballgame," Redmond said in a Sun-Sentinel interview. "I think it's good for him in the fact that he doesn't have to worry about 'I only have four or five innings.' He's just going to go out there and pitch his game. Whatever it ends up being, it ends up being."
Fernandez went out and pitched his game on Friday, striking out nine Nationals and only allowing one-hit, a slow ground ball up the third base line. Friday was arguably one of Fernandez's best starts of the season that resulted in his 11th win and an 8-0 Marlins victory.
Redmond also added that if Fernandez hadn't given up the infield single and was in pursuit of a no-hitter, he wouldn't have pulled the rookie on a once strict 170 innings limit.
"I was fully ready to let him pitch that whole game if he had a chance to go for it, and that would just be it [for the year]," Redmond said. "If you have a chance to do something like that, I would have let him do it."
Fernandez will make his final start of the year on Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves. Despite the fact that according to the original limit he would only be allowed to pitch five innings, Redmond said he will keep Fernandez, whose 1.19 home ERA is the lowest in club history, in the game as long as he is keeping Miami in the game and giving them a chance to win.
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