Benches cleared during the sixth inning of the Miami Marlins’ 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, and a spat between Jose Fernandez and Chris Johnson is at the heart of the matter.
Things started in the top of the sixth when Johnson laced a 97-mph fastball from Fernandez to left field. The ball was caught for an out, but Johnson acted confidently after smoking the ball as if to say that the 97-mph heat was nothing.
“Weak ass fastball,” Johnson appeared to say as he was clearing off the field.
Fernandez seemed to cuss at Johnson in return, and the young Marlins pitcher was ticked off when he made his way into the dugout after retiring the side. He shouted some words at the Braves dugout, and then he continued to act upset when he was in his dugout.
Fast forward to the bottom of the inning, when Fernandez came to bat with nobody on, two outs, and his team up 4-1. Fernandez smacked a 1-0 fastball to left center for a solo home run. Not a bad time for the 21-year-old to club his first career homer, right? Well the youngster sure enjoyed it. Fernandez admired his home run before making his way around the bases. And when he got to third, he spit by the base, in the vicinity of Johnson.
Braves catcher Brian McCann had words for Fernandez as the pitcher approached home, leading to both dugouts clearing. Johnson came sprinting in from third to give Fernandez a piece of his mind. Things calmed down, and the Marlins held on for a 5-2 win.
After the game, Fernandez, who was making his last start of the season because the Marlins are shutting him down, apologized for his behavior.
“I feel embarrassed,” Fernandez said. “I feel like I don’t deserve to be here, because this isn’t high school. This is a professional game. I made a mistake. I’m going to learn from it.”
Despite being a young, cocky player, Fernandez recognized the error of his ways and sought McCann and Braves pitcher Mike Minor after the game to apologize to them.
“I said, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m embarrassed and that’s something that won’t ever happen again,’” Fernandez told reporters. ‘”McCann said, ‘Hey, man, you’re a kid but you’re in the big leagues. You need to do what big leaguers do.”’
Marlins manager Mike Redmond also told Fernandez he had no business pimping his home run with the Marlins 30 games under .500.
Fernandez seems to understand where he went wrong, which is great. His outstanding play on the field makes him someone you would want to support.
Fernandez finishes his season 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 172.2 impressive innings.Google+