MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If not for New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, Miami Marlins rookie phenom pitcher Jose Fernandez would almost be a lock for National League Rookie of the Year.

Fernandez had another stellar performance Sunday when he pitched 13 strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fernandez’s 13 K’s were the most by a National League right-handed pitchers under 21 since Kerry Wood had 13 K’s against the Braves in 1998, according to ESPN.

Fernandez’s strikeouts also broke the Marlins rookie record of 12 in a game that was held by Josh Beckett since July 2002. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fernandez was also just the sixth pitcher since 1916 to pitch eight innings and strikeout 13 in their first 20 starts.

The only thing that Fernandez wasn’t able to do in the Marlins’ 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh was finish the game. Despite having thrown only 97 pitches heading to the ninth inning, Fernandez was taken out of the game as he’s on a strict pitch count in his first season in the major leagues.

Despite the Marlins’ offensive woes this season, Fernandez is 7-5 with a 2.71 ERA in 119.2 innings pitched. Fernandez is also carrying a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 3-1 and has allowed only 36 earned runs in his 20 starts.

Overall, opponents are hitting just .195 against Fernandez in 2013.


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