Jose Fernandez pitched well enough to win on Wednesday night, but sometimes baseball games come down to a mistake on a single pitch at the wrong time. Consider that Fernandez threw 7 innings, striking out 10, allowing just 4 hits, no bases on balls and 0 earned runs, but left one fastball over the middle of the plate and likely cost himself a win.
Fernandez was cruising with a 3-0 lead until the sixth inning when 2 Nationals reached base. One of the runners on base was there due to a throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who made an ill advised attempt to cut down the lead runner on a bunt. Fernandez would get the next 2 batters out, bringing up Marlin-killer Jayson Werth. This is where Fernandez would make his one bad pitch. Here is the location of the fastball to Werth according to Brooks Baseball:
Werth took advantage of the mistake and slugged a 3 run home run over the right center field fence. The homer barely cleared the fence and had to be reviewed on replay, but it went just far enough to tie the game at 3.
Fernandez would go one more perfect inning before being relieved by Mike Dunn to start the eighth inning. The Marlins bullpen ranks 13th in the National League in Home Runs per 9 innings allowed at 1.24 and 11th in Home Run per Fly Balls allowed. So of course it should come as no surprise that Dunn promptly allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in pinch hitter Zach Walters. Walters has hit home runs the last two nights, the only 2 home runs of his career.
The bullpen would allow 2 more runs in the eighth, sealing the fate of the Marlins in what would end up a 6-3 loss. The lone bright spot offensively for the Fish was a 3 run home run by Derek Dietrich. His third home run of the season and maybe his last before he gets sent down to AAA New Orleans to make way for Rafael Furcal.
The Marlins are now 1-5 against the first place Nationals on the year and 5-5 against everyone else. They will welcome the Seattle Mariners (7-7) to Marlins Park this weekend as they try to right the ship.