9 moments from 2013: A Rookie of the Year’s debut
I wish you a blessed Christmas. During the final nine days of 2013, I’m going to revisit nine memorable baseball moments from the year.
Today’s game didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but I noticed it when I was flipping through my scorecards.
On Sunday, April 7, 20-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez made his major league debut against the New York Mets, who started journeyman Aaron Laffey.
I was only at the game because SNY distributed free tickets to people who signed up for them, but I was curious about the guy the Marlins thought could jump from Single-A to the majors.
Although Fernandez had a great first outing – five innings, three hits, one walk and one run, eight strikeouts – it was tough to tell whether his success was based on skill or a Mets’ lineup that included Collin Cowgill, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, Ruben Tejada and Anthony Recker. And from the
upper deck Promenade, it’s impossible to gauge pitches.
Fernandez went on to become an All-Star, then the National League Rookie of the Year and the third place finisher in the National League Cy Young voting. (Laffey would make one more start and two relief appearances before the Mets placed him on waivers.)
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision and both were out of the game after five innings. Marlon Byrd, who came into the game in a fifth inning double switch, got the game-winning walk-off hit against Steve Cishek.
At this point, I’d been to three games and the Mets won them all. I wouldn’t see another Mets’ victory until the last day of the season.
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