13 of the 17 outs Jose Fernandez recorded Wednesday were strikeouts

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Marlins starter Jose Fernandez couldn’t finish the sixth inning on Wednesday against the Tigers, yielding five runs on five hits and a walk. It was a tough day, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia took him for a two-run home run in the second inning, and the Tigers got three hits before chasing Fernandez from the game in the sixth. Reliever Dustin McGowan allowed two of his inherited runners to score, charged to Fernandez.

It was still a very dominant afternoon for Fernandez, however, as 13 of the 17 outs he recorded on Wednesday came via the strikeout. He had everything working, getting Justin Upton to strikeout three times while Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera each fanned twice.

This is a great sign for the Marlins, as Fernandez made only 11 starts last season after recovering from Tommy John surgery, then suffering a strained biceps. The Marlins are expected to limit Fernandez’s innings this season, similar to the way the Mets handled Matt Harvey — who also had Tommy John surgery — last year.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.