The Phillies Will Face Jose Fernandez Friday Night — Appreciate It

The Phillies are on a four-game losing streak and are coming off of a series sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers. Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The defense was awful, as 10 of the 52 runs the Phillies have allowed this season have been unearned. The bullpen has been unreliable, posting an aggregate 5.40 ERA. Even the offense has disappeared, with the Phillies averaging 3.25 runs per game during their losing streak.

There’s plenty of frustration among Phillies fans and those in the media and it’s unlikely to be squelched tonight when the Phillies open up a three-game set with the Florida Marlins because Jose Fernandez will be on the mound.

The Marlins drafted Fernandez out of high school with their first round pick (14th overall) in the 2011 draft. He made his Major League debut on April 7 against the Mets last season and hasn’t looked back. In 30 career big league starts, the 21-year-old has a 2.09 ERA, a 3.00 xFIP and 3.05 SIERA, and a 28 percent strikeout rate with an eight percent walk rate. In his first two starts of 2014, he has allowed one run in 12 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts and two walks.

He’s scary, and he’s probably going to dominate the Phillies, though stranger things have happened. Just look at the movement on some of the pitches he threw in his last start against the Padres:

Fernandez is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now and he’s a lot of fun to watch. While you’re throwing beer bottles at your TV and heckling the Phillies tonight, take a minute to appreciate the guy on the mound, because if he can stay healthy, he’s going to be really good for a long time.

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