Yesterday, Jose Fernandez won his seventh straight start as he hurled 7 shutout innings and the Marlins beat the Pirates 3-1.
I am writing this to criticize Miami Marlin fans because there were only 10,637 fans watching this game yesterday. Yesterday’s game was pitched by two of the top young arms in baseball in Garrett Cole and Jose Fernandez. A pitching matchup like that is a treat for fans. It does not get much better than that. In my opinion, Jose Fernandez is must watch TV. Despite missing an entire season with TJ surgery, Fernandez has come back and I believe he is a top 5 pitcher in baseball. Right now, my top 5 are Kershaw, Arrieta, Sale, Bumgarner, and then Fernandez. There definitely are other pitchers in which an argument could be made for being in the top 5 but Fernandez is definitely in the conversation. So far this season, he is 8-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and is 2nd in all of baseball with 96 strikeouts.
When I watch Fernandez, I see a dominant arm who pitches with extreme confidence. He has swagger on the mound and believes he will get the batter out. Fernandez is one of the most entertaining baseball players in the game and Miami fans should be taking every opportunity they get to go and watch him. I understand that going to watch a baseball game in Florida is not the most popular form of entertainment because both the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays struggle to put fans in the stands. So far in the 2016 season, the Marlins rank 27th in attendance and the Rays are 29th. I also understand that the Marlins’ new ballpark often resembles a circus, especially with that awful green throughout the stadium. It does not seem like the best place to take in a baseball game, but if there is one game a week that Marlins fans should go to, it is when Fernandez pitches.
When I think of Jose Fernandez, I see comparisons to Felix Hernandez. King Felix has been one of the most dominant right-handed pitchers for the last decade and when he pitches, it is an event in Seattle. The King’s Court is one of the coolest scenes in all of baseball as an entire section of the stadium is there to cheer for the King. Whenever he has a strikeout opportunity, they wave K signs in the air and go crazy. Seattle does not have sellout crowds every night but when the King pitches, the ballpark has many more fans in the stands than other nights. I think there are similarities between King Felix and Fernandez as well. They have similar personalities as it is difficult to not root for both of these aces. They both came up at a young age and dominated and they are easily two of the game’s top arms.
I am not saying that Marlins fans need to go out and copy the King’s Court. What I am saying is going to watch Fernandez pitch is more than just going to a baseball game. Fernandez has the ability to do something special every night he steps onto the mound. If he stays healthy, Fernandez has the ability to have a very special career. So Marlins fans, I urge you that if you decide to go to one Miami game, go when Jose Fernandez is pitching. You won’t be disappointed.