And it typical Fernandez fashion, the Marlins’ 21-year old ace deferred all the credit to his teammates.
“It means a lot, and the way that we’re playing it just makes it even better,” said Fernandez, who went 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 55 strikeouts and eight walks over his first six starts of the season — and was in line to pick up his fifth win Sunday before A.J. Ramos blew the save in the ninth.
“Like I told [catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia] this is his accomplishment,” Fernandez continued. “This is the team’s accomplishment. This is the coaches’ accomplishment.”
Last year, Fernandez was named the National League’s best rookie in July and August before winning the overall rookie of the year award.
He entered Monday leading all of baseball with 65 strikeouts.
He had 10 whiffs in Sunday’s start against the Dodgers. It’s the seventh time in his career he’s reached double digits in strikeouts in a game.
What would Fernandez like to work on in May?
“Maybe walks,” he said. “That’s my personal thing. I walked [eight] people the first month in [39 2/3 innings] and I’m not really happy about it.”
Even though he posted impressive numbers (.269 batting average, eight homers, 31 RBI) between March and April and entered Monday leading all of baseball in RBI (36), Giancarlo Stanton was not named the NL’s Player of the Month on Monday.
That honor went to Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki (.364, seven homers, 22 RBI in March-April).
Stanton was hardly bothered.
Even though he feels like his approach at the plate has been the most consistent he has ever had to start a season, Stanton said Monday he is also had some really bad games and bad at-bats.
“You have a few days where it’s like ‘Have you even played baseball before?’ And then you kind of lock in, stick to your plan and not worry about anything else,” Stanton said.
“Whether I am or not [getting more pitches to hit] I’m just being more aggressive and putting them where they need to be. I’m not missing as many pitches when I am getting pitched to as I was previous.”
The Marlins aren’t just hitting more home runs this season. They’re doing a good job teasing at least one teammate who has yet to club one.
Third baseman Casey McGehee said that he recently found a set of weights inside his locker. It’s among the many subtle, “fun” hints McGehee said his teammates have been leaving behind for him lately.
McGehee, who finished second in Japan’s Pacific League last season with 28 homers, is the only clean-up hitter with at least 60 at-bats this season yet to hit a home run. Yet, he ranks seventh in the No. 4 spot in RBI with 16, and tied for 20th overall with 20 RBI.
“It doesn't bother me too much,” McGehee said of the ribbing. “I just remind some of the guys in here that I’ve got more [career] homers than they do. Outside of that, it’s not too big a deal. I like to think I’m going to get one in before we wrap it up for the year.”
COMING UPTuesday: Henderson Alvarez Bartolo Colon Wednesday: Tom Koehler Zack Wheeler