In 2nd start since coming off DL, Marlins ace gets himself into jam, staredown
By Jacob Emert
WASHINGTON -- Making his second start since being activated from the disabled list because of a right biceps strain, Jose Fernandez was cozying up to his 95-pitch soft limit when he found himself in his first jam of the night.
The two exchanged an extended staredown as Werth slowly made his way to first base after the hit-by-pitch.
"He [said] I was looking at him," Fernandez said after the dust settled. "I was like, 'You were looking at me, bud.' Kind of kid stuff. It's just part of the game. Whatever, it's not a big deal. He's fine. That's all that matters."
Fernandez received a new baseball and repositioned himself on the mound. With multiple runners on base for the second time all night, he struck out Clint Robinson, but a wild pitch had advanced both runners into scoring postion.
Ahead, 1-2, to Ian Desmond, Fernandez spiked another curveball to the backstop, allowing Harper to trot home and tie the game.
"I tried to make a good breaking ball, and unfortunately it's a pretty hard pitch to stop," Fernandez said. "Just gotta bury it down and make sure it's not up. That's the stuff that happens in baseball games."
Fernandez blew a 98-mph fastball past Desmond, who struck out swinging for the second out, and manager Dan Jennings ended his starter's night there.
"I think he was a little amped up," Jennings said. "This was a big matchup, he and [Max] Scherzer. But yeah, I think probably fatigue a little there in the sixth."
Before Harper scampered home in the sixth, Fernandez's only blemish was Robinson's second-inning solo home run. Fernandez finished with five hits allowed, while walking two and striking out eight.
With the no-decision, Fernandez remained 3-0 in six career starts against Washington, but his ERA elevated to 0.98 with the two tallies against him. On the injury-shortened season, the 23-year-old is 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA.
"I thought he threw the ball well," Jennings said. "Very aggressive. Tremendous velo. Attacked the strike zone, so I was pleased. He did everything we hoped he could do and put us in a good situation."
Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.