Henderson Alvarez, a first-year Marlins, hurled a spectacular nine innings of no-hit baseball Sunday afternoon, shutting out one of the best offenses in baseball. However, there was one major problem: after nine innings of no-hit ball, the Marlins had not yet scored a run. So there was no no-hitter.
With the meat of the Marlins’ order due up in the bottom of the ninth, Alvarez was ready to go out and pitch the tenth inning. But singles from Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison set up a two-on, one-out situation for Miami.
It was then that I tweeted a quote from Rich Waltz that seems paradoxical, but perfectly described the situation:
“Henderson Alvarez is a base hit away from a no-hitter” – @RichWaltz Seems backwards, but no joke
— Steve Miller (@smillermarlins) September 29, 2013
Adeiny Hechavarria was at the dish when pitcher Luke Putkonen threw a dirt ball that allowed Stanton and Morrison to advance. However, they had to hold on Hech’s chopper to short, which gave the Tigers two outs.
Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases and then Greg Dobbs strutted to the plate with his eminence Henderson Alvarez waiting in the on-deck circle. Putkonen threw another dirt ball that squirted by catcher Brayan Peña, allowing Stanton to score and Alvarez to celebrate.
It’s not often that you see a pitcher throw nine no-hit innings and not celebrate the feat as he walks off the field. But this time, the Marlins had to score a run before Alvarez’s no-hitter could be constituted as such.
It was the fifth no-hitter in franchise history and the first since Anibal Sanchez’s in 2006. Interestingly enough, Sanchez was looking on from Detroit’s dugout this time around.
What a way to finish the season. The next time the Fish take the field, it’ll be Opening Day, 2014 against Colorado.
— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) September 29, 2013
— MLB (@MLB) September 29, 2013