No one has paid much attention to the Marlins because they’re so terrible, but 20-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez is having an incredible rookie season.
Fernandez shut out the Padres for eight innings last night, striking out 10, walking one, and allowing just two hits to slice his ERA to 2.72 in 16 starts. He has a fantastic 94/33 K/BB ratio in 93 innings and has held opponents to a .193 batting average, all while jumping from Single-A to the big leagues and being the second-youngest player in baseball behind only Bryce Harper.
Fernandez has MLB’s fourth-highest average fastball velocity at 94.7 miles per hour–trailing only Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, and Jeff Samardzija–and check out where his strikeout rate of 9.1 per nine innings ranks among all 20-year-old pitchers in baseball history:
Rick Ankiel 2000 9.9
Jose Fernandez 2013 9.1
Dwight Gooden 1985 8.7
CC Sabathia 2001 8.5
F. Valenzuela 1981 8.4
Say what you will about the Marlins in general, but they always seem to find a way to develop young stars and not many teams can boast a hitter-pitcher duo as young and talented as 20-year-old Jose Fernandez and 23-year-old Giancarlo Stanton.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.