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For openers, Fernandez rewrites history books

Marlins ace joins elite company with Opening Day gem

MIAMI -- Every time Jose Fernandez takes the mound, you have a chance to witness history. The Marlins' young ace did it again on Opening Day.

Fernandez dazzled in six innings Monday night, striking out nine while not walking a batter in the Marlins' 10-1 win over the Rockies at Marlins Park.

Before Fernandez took the mound on Monday, manager Mike Redmond noted that the rest of the league would be adjusting to his hard-throwing right-hander. However, what Fernandez has in his favor is talent.

"At the end of the day, his stuff is going to prevail," Redmond said. "His stuff is so good."

Fernandez, the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, continues to make his mark on the game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fernandez is the second pitcher to win on Opening Day after being named Rookie of the Year the previous season. John Montefusco was the other. In 1975, Montefusco won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and he was a winner in the '76 opener.

Fernandez also attached himself to more history on Monday. The 21-year-old, Elias claims, is only the second starting pitcher to post nine strikeouts and no walks on Opening Day in the last 16 seasons. Jered Weaver in 2012 was the other.

Before Weaver, you have to go back to Mike Mussina in 1998, with nine strikeouts and no walks in an opener.

Fernandez finds himself in elite company with the others on the list. He joins Steve Carlton (1983), J.R. Richard (1980), Bob Gibson (1967, '69), Ferguson Jenkins (1969), Chris Short (1968), Walter Johnson (1916) and Cy Young (1900).

Fernandez certainly has found a comfort zone at Marlins Park. Entering his second season, the right-hander is now 10-0 with a 1.21 ERA at home.

With nine strikeouts, Fernandez also matched a Marlins most for an Opening Day starter. In 2004, Josh Beckett fanned nine Montreal Expos.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.
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