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Big League Stew

Jose Fernandez dominates Phillies on hill, collects first major league hit, struggles with jacket

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Two weeks ago I expressed concern that the Miami Marlins may be making a big mistake promoting 20-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez to the big leagues before he was primed and ready.

It turns out I was right on the not being ready part, though not in the way I expected.

Fernandez has actually proven to be more than ready on the mound. In fact, he's been downright dominant through two starts, allowing one run over five innings against the New York Mets in his major league debut last weekend and tossing six scoreless against the Philadelphia Phillies in Miami's 2-1 win on Saturday night. With those two starts under his belt, Fernandez became the first pitcher 20 years old or younger to allow one run or less and three hits or less in his first two starts since Rudy May of the Angels did it back in 1965.

Not bad for a guy who never pitched above A-ball.

He was also pretty good with the lumber on Saturday, collecting his first major league hit — an RBI single — off Cole Hamels. Very impressive, but unfortunately that's where his inexperience finally started to show up a bit. And no, it wasn't on the bases, either, it was actually when he attempted to put on the zip up jacket that many pitchers wear on the basepaths to keep themselves warm.

He couldn't get that thing figured out to save his life. He got an arm through, but not the other. Umpire Chris Guccione tried to help out and that didn't seem to get him anywhere. Finally Fernandez gives the jacket a thorough looking over and discovers the zipper was already a quarter of the way up, so I guess it may not have been his fault to begin with. Or maybe someone was just playing a trick on him?

Regardless, a good 45 seconds later he finally got that sucker on as the crowd of 20,037 (or thereabouts) looked on. And then two pitches later the inning was over, so it was all that trouble for little gain.

Oh well, it'll still be a memorable night for the young stud. After all, it was his home debut, he pitched six scoreless, and he got his first hit off an ace. Few have done it better than that, so we salute him, and we salute the Marlins for getting this one right... so far.

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