Innings limit wouldn’t have stood in way of no-hit bid

MIAMI — If Jose Fernandez was able to put himself in position to make history, Marlins manager Mike Redmond was not going to deny him.

On Saturday, Redmond answered the unanswered question — would Fernandez have been allowed to go the distance to a complete a no-hitter?

The situation became moot, because the no-hit bid was foiled with one out in the sixth inning on pinch-hitter Zach Walters’ infield single.

Fernandez on Friday night flirted with no-hit history in Miami’s 7-0 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park.

Walters’ dribbler down the third base line was the lone hit Fernandez allowed in seven shutout innings. The hard-throwing rookie struck out nine before he was lifted after 94 pitches.

“I was fully ready to let him pitch that whole game, if he had the chance to go for it,” Redmond said on Saturday. “And that would have been it.”

Now with 165 2/3 innings pitched, Fernandez has one more scheduled start before he is shut down after facing the Braves on Sept. 11 in Miami.

Had Fernandez gone nine innings in quest for a no-hitter, the Marlins would have called it a season for the rookie. It never reached that point, but during the game, Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez were already thinking about how to deal with a potential no-hitter.

“Believe me, I was sitting there thinking it,” Redmond said. “Chuck and I, we weren’t even looking at each other. We knew.”

The Marlins have four no-hitters in their history, with the last being turned in by Anibal Sanchez against the D-Backs. Ironically, Fernandez was pursuing the no-hitter on the seventh anniversary of Sanchez’s no-hitter.

Fernandez is facing an innings limit of about 170.

Redmond said against the Braves, the plan for Fernandez will be the same as Friday. The rookie will be allowed to go as deep into the game as possible, depending on how he is doing. So while, Fernandez is 4 1/3 innings shy of 170, his performance will determine how far he goes in his final start.

Joe Frisaro

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