One would think that the hometown fans would enjoy wallowing in a 9-0 blowout, and for the most part Tuesday, they did. But twice during the contest, the boobirds emerged to vent their frustration with two of their own: Jose Fernandez and Mike Redmond.
The crowd gave it to Fernandez when he didn't hustle to first on a twice-bobbled ground ball in the third inning, a base running lapse that cost the Marlins a run. And they gave it to Redmond when he refused to send his ace back out to pitch the ninth after Fernandez had thrown just 98 pitches.
Redmond said he spoke with Fernandez on Wednesday about the need to show better effort on the base paths.
"I think the biggest thing is you just keep it consistent," Redmond said of Fernandez's running speed. "Nobody's expecting the pitcher to run full-out down the first base line. But it's just to be consistent every time out of the box. And that's what I told him. We don't need you to run as hard as you can out of the box on a ground ball to second base when you know you're out."
On Tuesday, Fernandez hit an otherwise routine grounder to Andrelton Simmons, perhaps the finest defensive shortstop in the majors. But as Fernandez was taking his sweet time getting to first, figuring he was an easy out, Simmons bobbled the ball not once, but twice. Fernandez would have beaten the throw had he been running at even three-quarters speed. But he was thrown out and Christian Yelich followed immediately with a triple.
Redmond chalked it up as a one-time mistake made by a young player.
"He's fine with it," Redmond said. "I mean, believe me... I don't ever have to worry about the effort Jose's giving us. There's not a lot of guys on this field playing harder than he is. Believe me, it's the least of my worries."
As for Redmond's decision to lift Fernandez after eight innings...
The manager said the primary reason he didn't allow Jose Fernandez to go back out for the ninth Tuesday was because there was little sense in doing so, given the lopsided score (9-0). Fernandez has yet to throw a complete game.
"Had that game maybe been 3-0, we probably would have left him out there," Redmond said. "But 9-0, he's at 98 pitches. He did his job."
Redmond said he also wanted to test Carlos Marmol, who hadn't pitched in six days due to a minor hamstring injury.
"We needed to get Marmol in there after his sore hamstring to make sure he was okay," Redmond said. "Seemed like the perfect situation to get him in there."
Marmol said he felt fine after pitching a scoreless ninth in which he faced four batters, allowing a base hit and striking out one.
Jeff Baker ended an 0 for 25 drought with a sharp single in Tuesday's sixth inning, but he wasn't around Wednesday to talk about it. The reason: Redmond said Baker has food poisoning and told him to skip the pre-game workouts in order to get it out of his system.
"That's why I had to take him out last night, because he was throwing up during the game," Redmond said.
Baker was replaced with a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
After going 3 for 4 in his first game back from the disabled list, Ed Lucas was back in the starting lineup Wednesday and playing second.
When it comes to penciling in his second baseman, Redmond said he'll "mix and match" from a stable that includes Lucas, Derek Dietrich and Donovan Solano.
"It is kind of a luxury that we have that flexibility and versatility," Redmond said. "We're playing 21 straight games, so there's probably going to be some days off for guys in the infield."
Redmond said he'll try to give the occasional day off to third baseman Casey McGehee, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton over the coming stretch of games.
Meanwhile....Rafael Furcal (hamstring, groin) could begin rehab within a few days at Triple A New Orleans.
Fernandez threw more changeups than usual Tuesday in his win over the Braves. Keep in mind, Fernandez's changeup isn't exactly a floater, touching 90 most of the time.
"I threw a lot more changeups than ever before last night," Fernandez said. "Maybe 30. I was impressed I threw that many."
Said Redmond: "The beauty is, he can use a lot of changeups and change his approach from start to start. You see what it does to hitters. Guys are geared up for 97, nobody wants a slider, and the next thing you know you get a changeup, and it looks like the bottom just kind of drops off of it. It's a huge weapon."