Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Making his final start of the 2013 season, it wasn't enough for Jose Fernandez to notch his twelfth win and hold the Atlanta Braves to 1 run over 7 innings. The kid also hit his first career home run and made the Braves extra salty in the process.
The home run (a solo shot) came in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the middle half of the inning, Fernandez was visibly angry in the Marlins' dugout. He could be seen angrily pacing, and manager Mike Redmond had to intervene to calm him down.
Braves 3B Chris Johnson could be seen jawing with Hernandez during his at bat that inning, nonchalantly mouthing "Nope" after one of Fernandez' pitches sailed high for a ball. That is probably what got Fernandez worked up.
Then Jose came to bat in the bottom of the inning, and he found the perfect way to vent his frustration. He deposited a Mike Minor pitch in the Clevelander behind left field, taking a few seconds to admire his shot before trotting around the bases. Here is his pimped-out home run trot.
Of course, baseball being baseball, the Braves were not content to let the 21-year-old Fernandez enjoy what was the capstone to his impressive rookie campaign. When he arrived at home plate, Braves catcher Brian McCann said a few words to Fernandez. He basically told Fernandez to tone it down next time. "He talked to me like a friend, a father," Fernandez said after the game.
But Johnson was livid, and came running down the third base line looking like he wanted to continue the hostilities. Probably because Fernandez did this:
Both benches cleared, and Johnson was pulled away from the scrum pretty quickly, but there was no further escalation (Watch the whole incident below). Judging from the way Johnson immediately stood behind the home plate umpire when he arrived near Fernandez, it's pretty clear he didn't actually intend to throw a punch (which makes it worse in my mind - either start something or don't, but definitely don't act like you're going to throw a punch then place an obstacle in your way so you don't have to follow through on your own hollow threat).
Either way, the night belonged to Jose. He came out in the top of the seventh worked out of a two-out jam with runners on first and second, striking out Justin Upton and walking off the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.