Miami Marlins’ Hernderson Alvarez Ends The 2013 Baseball Season With A No-Hitter!!
MIAMI — Henderson Alvarez opened the season on the disabled list, and the 23-year-old ended it by etching his name in Major League history.
In one of the most bizarre finishes to a landmark game, Alvarez completed his no-hitter by watching from the on-deck circle.
The Marlins completed the fifth no-hitter in franchise history in walk-off fashion, with Giancarlo Stanton racing home on a wild pitch in the ninth inning to secure a 1-0 victory over the Tigers in front of 28,315 at Marlins Park.
Alvarez was sensational, going the distance and striking out four on 99 pitches, but he didn’t know if it was good enough, because the Marlins hadn’t scored a run through eight innings.
That run eventually came on a wild pitch, prompting a wild celebration at home plate. Rookie Jose Fernandez literally took the jersey off Alvarez’s back and displayed it to the fans, who cheered one of the most memorable closing days in club history.
The drama built in the top of the ninth as Alvarez took the mound, with the crowd on its feet for every pitch. Pinch-hitter Alex Avila tapped back to Alvarez for the first out, and Don Kelly did the same, with Alvarez making a leaping play to snare the hot chopper.
Andy Dirks then drew a four-pitch walk, bringing up Matt Tuiasosopo. Alvarez, who entered the showdown at 89 pitches, ran the count full, and the crowd erupted when Tuiasosopo swung through a 95-mph fastball.
But it was an awkward moment, because despite pitching nine no-hit innings, Alvarez wasn’t able to celebrate, as the game was scoreless.
The Marlins finally broke through off Luke Putkonen. Stanton and Logan Morrison delivered one-out singles, and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. With the infield in, Adeiny Hechavarria — who helped preserve the no-hitter with a terrific leaping catch to rob Ramon Santiago of a line-drive single in the second inning — tapped a high grounder to short for the second out. Chris Coghlanwalked, bringing up Greg Dobbs, pinch-hitting for catcher Koyie Hill.
Putkonen’s first pitch bounced away from catcher Brayan Pena, and Stanton raced home and into a mob scene.
Alvarez joins Al Leiter (1996), Kevin Brown (1997), A.J. Burnett (2001) and Anibal Sanchez (2006) in the franchise’s no-hitter club. Fittingly, Sanchez was in the ballpark to welcome the club’s newest member.
The Tigers hadn’t gone with their main lineup in this one, as manager Jim Leyland rested his regulars to get ready for the postseason.
Miguel Cabrera did not start, and Prince Fielder — one of only three Tigers to reach base, hit by a pitch in the first inning — was replaced after two plate appearances.
The Tigers came close to a hit in the sixth inning. Justin Verlander hit a long fly down the line in right field, but the ball landed just out of Stanton’s reach, and it was a couple of feet foul.
Verlander, now 0-for-26 in his career, eventually struck out looking.