Marlins starter Jose Fernandez was staked to a 5-0 lead after three innings, but in reality, all he needed was one run given how dominant he looked against the Indians tonight. The 20-year-old Cuban struck out 14 batters over eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. In his previous start against the Pirates, he struck out 13 and walked none in eight innings. He now has a 2.54 ERA and continues to pad his case for the NL Rookie of the Year and NL Cy Young awards.
The bulk of the Marlin offense tonight came from first baseman Logan Morrison, who went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in. Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jake Marisnick also contributed three hits apiece. The Fish scored five against Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who lasted four innings. They then added a five-spot in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Matt Albers.
The 14-strikeout performance is Fernandez’s first of the season and the seventh overall in baseball this year. Yu Darvish has accomplished the feat four times, including last night, while Chris Sale and Anibal Sanchez have done it once each.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.