Hernandez Ties Ford’s 1950 Mark
Livan Hernandez had never heard of Whitey Ford until he tied the Hall of Famer’s record Sunday.
Hernandez, a 22-year-old Cuban defector, became the first rookie to start a season 9-0 since Ford in 1950 as the Florida Marlins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-3.
The Marlins swept the three-game series and won for the seventh time in nine games. Florida is 8-3 in interleague play.
“That [nine consecutive wins] is something I never imagined,” Hernandez said through an interpreter, adding that he had never heard of the former Yankee left-hander. “It seems like something happens to me every five days.”
Hernandez gave up seven hits and two runs over 7 2/3 innings and set a club record with six consecutive strikeouts.
Hernandez (9-0) tied his career high with eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.
“The slider was working real well today,” he said. “I was leaving the fastball up a bit in the first inning. But the curve worked real well and I used the changeup to keep the hitters off balance.”
Florida Manager Jim Leyland said the key to Hernandez’s success is his even keel.
“I don’t think he has any fear, and that’s half the battle,” Leyland said. “A couple of times this season when things haven’t gone well, he’s been able to maintain his composure.”
Gary Sheffield hit a two-run home run, his 16th, and Edgar Renteria continued his hot hitting against the Blue Jays with three hits.