MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez set the tone on the mound, and he called the game-changing shot in the dugout. When things are going your way, you don't try to explain it, you let it flow.Fernandez is in one of those grooves. He remained unbeaten against the Nationals on Saturday night
MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez set the tone on the mound, and he called the game-changing shot in the dugout. When things are going your way, you don't try to explain it, you let it flow.
Fernandez is in one of those grooves. He remained unbeaten against the Nationals on Saturday night as the Marlins rallied for a 3-2 win. The ace right-hander struck out nine, and he also used his power of positive thinking on Justin Bour's two-run homer that was the decisive hit of the night.
When Bour took Nats starter Joe Ross deep to right field, Fernandez was speaking to pitching coach Juan Nieves in the dugout. Statcast™ projected Bour's blast to travel 395 feet from home plate with an exit velocity of 106 mph. Fernandez saw it coming.
"On the home run, I was actually talking to Juan," Fernandez said. "I was saying, 'Bour needs to hit it into the second deck.' The ball goes all the way up there, so I went crazy."
The way Fernandez was pitching also gave fits to the Nationals, a team he is now 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA against this season.
In his career, Fernandez is 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA vs. Washington, and overall at Marlins Park, he's 21-1 with a 1.64 ERA in 31 career starts.
"His stuff was really good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "To me, he's smoothing out. He had a really good fastball tonight. He had it late. Still had really good life on it.
"I thought he used his change some early, but for the most part, he was spotting up his fastball a lot. I knew when he got to 70, he wanted to get quick outs to try to stay in the game longer."
Fernandez's night ended after 99 pitches, scattering four hits.
"I think this team has a big heart, and I love the way that we play," Fernandez said.
Fernandez praised catcher J.T. Realmuto for the game plan and pitch selection.
These teams have met 12 times already, with each winning six.
"All the props to that team," Fernandez said. "We know what they can do. We know their lineup. We know their pitching. We know everything. But we ain't backing down any point soon."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.