For the Miami Marlins, José Fernández’s rookie season was something to behold. With a 12-6 record and stellar 2.19 ERA, Fernández was named an All-Star and the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year.
On this day 10 years ago, Fernández ended his rookie campaign in grand fashion. Fernández shined on the mound and at the plate in a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Due to an innings limit, Fernández knew it would be his final start of the season as he arrived at Marlins Park on Sept. 11, 2013. With a lively crowd set to see the Cuban native, Fernández did not disappoint.
On the mound, Fernández tossed seven solid innings, allowing just a run on five hits. Fernández was able to work around doubles in each of the first two innings and out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. He finished the night with three walks and five strikeouts.
Perhaps most memorable, however, was his final at-bat of the season. With the Marlins leading 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Fernández took Mike Minor’s 1-0 offering over the wall to left field for his first career home run to extend the lead to four.
Fernández took an extra second to admire his blast, which was met with an unpleasant welcome from Atlanta catcher Brian McCann as the Miami pitcher made his way toward home. As the two exchanged words, the benches cleared, but no one was ejected.
In what would be his final inning of the year, Fernández worked around a one-out walk to toss a scoreless seventh. Mike Dunn worked a 1-2-3 eighth before Atlanta added a run off Steve Cishek on an RBI double from Elliot Johnson in the ninth.
Giancarlo Stanton got the scoring started for the Marlins with an RBI single in the first. After Logan Morrison singled home a run in the fourth, Stanton pushed the lead to 4-0 with a two-run homer in the fifth. Evan Gattis’ solo homer on the first pitch of the sixth got the Braves on the board and served as the lone run off Fernández.
Following his rookie season, Fernández had the look of baseball’s next big pitching star. A two-time All-Star, Fernández was among three people to die tragically in a South Florida boating accident in September 2016. His rookie season culminated in memorable fashion on this day a decade ago.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fish on First, who covers Miami Marlins history. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.