Fernandez provides youth enthusiasm

Jose Fernandez celebrates Giancarlo Stanton's home run.

Jose Fernandez celebrates Giancarlo Stanton’s home run.

MIAMI — When not pitching, Jose Fernandez is the Marlins’ No. 1 cheerleader.

Fernandez’s enthusiasm and energy was clearly demonstrated on Saturday night when Giancarlo Stanton blasted the game-tying home run off Rafael Soriano in the ninth inning. Miami completed the comeback win, 2-1, in 10 innings against Washington.

The Marlins’ lone All-Star, Fernandez admittedly wasn’t at his best on Saturday night. In six innings, he gave up one run, but his entire 103-pitch outing was a grind.

Like he does during every one of his starts, Fernandez remains in the dugout to root on his teammates after he exits. He did so by getting extremely emotional when Stanton provided his big blast.

“I got so excited,” said Fernandez, who’s enthusiasm outburst was captured by TV cameras. “I don’t know what I did on the play. I know it was well worth it. I enjoy it. My teammates laugh, so that is good. Everybody was laughing. I was just enjoying it. When he made contact, I knew it was a bomb. I was pretty excited. Their closer is one of the best closers in the league. I got pretty excited. It’s fun.

“I like to have fun. This is a game. You have to play.”

Fernandez is the youngest Marlin ever to be named to the All-Star Game. The right-hander turns 21 on July 31.

In his rookie season, he’s already showing signs of leadership.

“I didn’t have my stuff the way I wanted it,” Fernandez said. “Sometimes you have to battle. That’s the point. Keeping it close, and giving us a chance to win. That feels amazing.”

The Marlins have gone through so much adversity in the first half, and Fernandez is sticking close to his teammates.

“I love this team. I’m going to give it my heart,” the rookie said. “I’m going to give everything to it. Whoever doesn’t like it, I don’t mind. This is my team. This is what I work for every day.”

Joe Frisaro

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