Jose Fernandez saved his first home run for his final at-bat of his rookie season.
But in the end Wednesday, the hit was the last thing anybody was talking about. It was the first three steps he took out of the batter's box, the flip of his bat and the hot-dogging he did before rounding the bases, an immature, rookie mistake his manager said and one the Braves took exception to.
"I took the first two steps and right away my reaction was 'Man I got to run,'" Fernandez said. "It was just not good. I walked the first three steps and I said 'What I'm doing? I'm not in high school no more. Run.' I have to respect the game a lot more than I did there."
"I feel embarrassed. I feel like I don't deserve to be here. This isn't high school no more. This is a professional game and professional players doing what they're supposed to do. I don't think this was supposed to happen. And I'm embarrassed. Hopefully it won't happen again. I made a mistake and I'm going to learn from it."
The Braves obviously weren't happy. Benches and bullpens cleared as the teams came face-to-face at the plate. But no punches were ever thrown.
Fernandez said Braves catcher Brian McCann, an All-Star teammate, defused the situation.
"He and I are really close. Freddie Freeman too. He told me 'Buddy you can't do that.' [I said] 'I know man. The game got the best of me," Fernandez said. "If at any moment if there was going to be a fight, he was talking to me like a friend. I wouldn't say as a friend, I would say as a Dad teaching a kid. That's how it felt. I don't think it was a fight kind of stuff. It was a friend type of thing."
Fernandez came over to the Braves locker room and spoke to McCann and pitcher Mike Minor outside after the game, apologizing for his actions.
"He took exception to Gattis' home run [the half inning prior," McCann said. "You could tell that walking off the field. He happened to hit a home run and stood there. I just told him you can't do that. You're going to get someone hurt. It's just something that didn't need to happen. I think he realized that he messed up. I think the emotions got the best of him tonight."
That being said, Redmond wasn't happy. Neither were his teammates. Fernandez several teammates took him into the walkway near the clubhouse and talked to him about his mistake. A pitcher who has always used his emotions to fuel him, it's obvious they finally caught up to Fernandez Wednesday.
"When you watch him pitch, he's got a lot of things he does on the field you could do without," McCann said.
"It's one of those things, probably immaturity a little bit," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a playful guy on the mound, and he likes to have fun, and we like to have fun too. If he's going to play that game, which is fine, he shouldn't get upset when we hit a home run and have fun ourselves. It was boys being boys after that. I'm going to chalk it up to a young kid that's really talented, and he's going to be around in the big leagues for a lot of years."
Redmond said the antics ruined the night for him. Fernandez gave up just five hits and one earned run over seven innings.
"I think tonight showed some immaturity on Jose's part and his youth -- not to make excuses for it," Redmond said. "Showing the other team up with a home run, that's not what we're doing here. That's not what we're trying to do. I know he got caught up in emotion, but I'm not happy. It really ruined the night for me. I know that will never happen again.
"In this game you have to control everything. Your emotions are just as big a part of the game as your physical skills. You have to be able to emotionally slow the game down and all the things tonight brough -- his last start, the Braves, big crowd -- sometimes that shows he's 21 and he's human. He's an emotional guy and that's the part of the game he's going to have to learn and get a hold of. You got to realize your going to give up a hit, you're going to give up a home run. But like I said those are those some of the aspects of the game he's going to have to continue to learn."
Redmond said the Marlins just aren't a team that deserves to hot dog it.
"We're 30 something games under .500. We don't have the right to be flashy or show anybody up," he said. "We haven't earned that. I think it's a learning experience for him. I think he understands that. I think he'll learn from it and like I said I don't think he'll ever make that mistake again."