The Miami Marlins had Jose Fernandez on the mound tonight to face the Philadelphia Phillies opposite Cole Hamels. Naturally, Fernandez was not intimated facing a decent lineup and one of the better pitchers in the National League, as Fernandez put up his best performance of his career to date.
Fernandez struck out a career-best nine batters in seven innings of work while walking just one. In the first inning, Freddy Galvis singled with one out. From that point on, Fernandez retired 17 straight hitters, six via strikeout. The Phillies wandered harmlessly through much of the game, finally getting aboard once again when Galvis drew Fernandez's only walk of the evening with no one out in the seventh inning.
Of course, Fernandez followed that up by striking out the next three hitters, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Delmon Young, to preserving the Marlins' 2-0 lead.
Fernandez's nine strikeouts are one better than his debut start versus the New York Mets, in which he struck out eight in five innings pitched. He left the game with one hit allowed, and the Marlins bullpen will look to preserve that one-hitter for him. Mike Dunn threw a scoreless, hitless eighth inning, and Steve Cishek is expected to enter the game in the ninth inning. Fernandez is in line for his first career pitcher win to top off his fantastic start.