Cishek congratulates, apologizes to Fernandez

Cishek congratulates, apologizes to Fernandez

MIAMI -- For the way Jose Fernandez pitched in his big league debut on Sunday at New York, Steve Cishek offered a heart-felt congratulations shortly after the game.

The Marlins closer also used the time to apologize for blowing the save, as the Mets rallied to a 4-3 win with two runs in the ninth inning.

Fernandez, who gave up one run in five innings, was in line for the win. Instead, the 20-year-old rookie received a no-decision.

"I walked over to him and congratulated him," Cishek said on Monday. "I apologized for blowing it for him. I just said, 'Congratulations, that was awesome. I'm very proud of you.' He pitched great. If he fills up the strike zone like that, he's going to have a very bright future. There's going to be more opportunities for him to get a win."

As for his own performance, Cishek said he didn't have a feel for his slider, which ended up hurting him in the ninth. The pitch that he felt turned everything around was grazing Ruben Tejada's jersey with one out and a 1-2 count.

The Mets seized the opening and won it on Marlon Byrd's two-run single.

"I felt good, but my slider was garbage," Cishek said. "Usually, my slider is my good pitch. If I fall behind, I can flip it over for a strike. I like to put away lefties with it. I didn't have a feel for it out there. One pitch, I thought that killed me, was hitting Tejada."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter