The Miami Marlins snapped the Royals' win streak at nine games Wednesday. How did they do it? They had their ace on the mound at home, which has been their best recipe for success.
How Fernandez won
Jose Fernandez tossed a scoreless start for the first time since June 21, pitching seven innings and striking out nine batters.
Fernandez's breaking pitches were on point, as the Royals were 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts in at-bats ending with one of those two pitches. Fernandez had been on a rough stretch of late with his breaking pitches, allowing multiple hits against them in four of his last five starts.
The Royals chased 39 percent of the pitches Fernandez threw outside of the strike zone, the highest chase percentage for a team against Fernandez this season.
Fernandez threw 14 percent of his pitches up in the strike zone, tied for his second-lowest mark of the season. Eight of Fernandez's strikeouts in the game came on pitches below the upper-third of the strike zone.
He has been amazing at home
Elias research shows that Fernandez's 1.57 ERA through his first 40 starts at home is lowest by any pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920).
Even with a small hiccup on July 28 against the Cardinals, in which he gave up five runs in five innings, Fernandez has a 1.91 ERA in 14 home starts this season.
Royals win streak snapped
With the loss, the Royals had their nine-game winning streak snapped, which was tied for their sixth-longest in franchise history; it was their longest win streak since winning 10 straight in 2014.
Entering Wednesday, the Royals had a 3.1 percent chance to make the postseason, according to Fangraphs. With the loss Wednesday, those odds probably won't improve.