After the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez, one of baseball’s best and brightest young stars, it is a time for mourning, but also a time for reflection. We wanted to look back at some of best moments (and our favorite moments) of Jose Fernandez’s career.
First Major League Start (4/7/13)
After Jose Fernandez made the Marlins’ Opening Day roster in 2013 due to injuries to a couple of other starters, he took full advantage of the opportunity in his first start, striking out eight and allowing only one run on three hits in five innings against the Mets. In the second inning of that game, Fernandez recored his first career strikeout by freezing Ike Davis with a nasty backdoor breaking ball, the first of many to come.
Jose Goes Crazy after big Stanton Home Run
After allowing only one run in six solid innings against the Nationals at Marlins Park in July of 2013, Fernandez lost his mind with excitement in the dugout after Giancarlo Stanton tied the game with a leadoff home run in the ninth inning. My slightly-biased opinion says that level of excitement has never been matched by any other player.
First 14 Strikeout Performance (8/2/13)
Fourteen may sound like a random number, but it was Fernandez’s career high for strikeouts, a number he reached five times in his career. The first time he did it was in 2013, when Fernandez struck out 14 over eight scoreless innings against the Nationals. That start, along with many other great ones, helped Fernandez win the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
First Major League home run (9/11/13)
This was not only special because of the home run, but also because of what transpired afterwards. Brian McCan and future Miami teammate Chris Johnson took offense to the fact that Fernandez admired his homer, and the benches cleared. But, in the heat of the moment, Fernandez, like he always did, kept a smile on his face the whole time.
The Reunion with his Grandmother
During a November 2013 interview in which Jose Fernandez talked about his escape from Cuba and how his missed family members, including his grandmother, the Marlins staff surprised Jose by bringing his grandmother to the states. They were reunited for the first time during the interview, and the moment is touching.
First start back from Tommy John Surgery (7/2/15)
After having his 2014 season cut very short due to Tommy John Surgery in May, Fernandez finally returned to the mound for the Marlins in July of 2015. The pitching performance was solid, giving up three runs and striking out six over six innings, but what was really memorable was his fifth-inning home run which helped the Marlins come back and defeat the Giants in that game.
The Jayson Werth Stare-Down (9/18/15)
After hitting Jayson in the sixth inning of a game against the Nationals, Fernandez stared Werth down (and Werth stared back) the entire time as Werth walked down the first base line. But, in typical Jose Fernandez fashion, the two made up later in the inning and the situation was diffused by the big smile on Fernandez’s face.
Pinch-Hit Go-Ahead 12th Inning 2-RBI Double (7/1/16)
The Marlins were tied 5-5 with two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the 12th inning against the Braves as relief pitcher Nick Wittgren was due up to hit. Don Mattingly decided to pinch hit with Fernandez in that situation and he delivered with a 2-RBI double to the left-center field gap to give the Marlins a 7-5 lead and eventually a victory.
Final Start (9/20/16)
Like he did many times in his career, Jose Fernandez dominated the Nationals on Tuesday. He tossed eight scoreless innings, striking out 12 batters and walking none, while only allowing three hits in arguably the best start of his career.