Jose Fernandez is really, really good. The Marlins young fire-baller dominated the Braves for the second time in about a week. Tonight, he went eight innings, only giving up two hits and striking out eight. In his last two starts, both against the Braves, Fernandez has pitched a total of sixteen innings and only allowed five hits while striking out twenty-two Braves. That, my friends, is domination.
Unfortunately for the Braves, Alex Wood didn’t live up to his end of the bargain in the highly anticipated pitching match-up. In his last start, he was matched up against Fernandez, losing a 1-0 pitchers duel. That night, Wood went eight innings only allowing a single run and striking out eleven Marlins. Tonight was the polar opposite for Alex. He gave up seven runs on ten hits in his rough five innings of work tonight. Wood had allowed only six runs the entire season going into tonight. He saw his ERA rise from 1.54 to 2.93 in a single start. Yikes.
There was literally nothing positive for the Braves tonight. For some odd reason Fredi Gonzalez decided to start the Braves “B” team lineup against the best young pitcher in baseball. Both Justin and BJ Upton, Chris Johnson and Dan Uggla all sat tonight in favor of Jordan Schafer, Ryan Doumit, Ramiro Pena and Tyler Pastornicky. I’m sure Alex Wood was thrilled to go against Jose Fernandez with that lineup behind him. The Braves best scoring opportunity came in the third inning when they had men on second and third following a Heyward double, but Pastornicky was thrown out at home on a grounder down the third base line. The Marlins started their scoring assault in the bottom of that inning and never looked back.
Of note, Jason Heyward made a throwing error in the bottom of the sixth, his first error since September 4, 2012. Not so breaking news, Jason is a really, really good defender.
These same two teams will be at it again tomorrow night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 EST. The Braves will send surprise ace Aaron Harang and his sparkling 0.85 ERA to the mound against another tough, young Marlins starter in Nathan Eovaldi. Hopefully, the Braves will use their actual starters tomorrow night. With Fredi Gonzalez, ya never know…