ST. LOUIS -- The Miami Marlins' handling of Jose Fernandez was perfect, within the context of the conventional wisdom that had developed within Major League Baseball.
They limited his innings in 2013 to 172 2/3, and when he reached that limit, they shut him down with about three weeks to go, on Sept. 11.
Fernandez never threw more than 114 pitches in any outing, and in his 36 career starts, he threw more than 100 pitches just 11 times.
He was fully protected, unless you believe the Marlins should've placed him in packing noodles between innings, encapsulated in bubble wrap. And he still got hurt, just as Matt Harvey got hurt, just as Kris Medlen and Patrick Corbin and Jarrod Parker and Brandon Beachy got hurt.
Because with pitchers, there is one reality that supersedes all rules: They don't last.