The last day of the 2011 regular season just may be the most memorable in history, but thanks to Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins, the last day of 2013 is memorable in its own right.
That is because on Sunday Henderson Alvarez threw the 5th no-hitter in franchise history. He joined Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, AJ Burnett and current Tiger Anibal Sanchez as pitchers who threw a no-no for the Fish. The 23-year-old right hander struck out 4 as the Marlins managed to sweep the Tigers and cap off his no-no by a score of 1-0 with Giancarlo Stanton crossing home plate with the bases loaded and two outs.
It was the 3rd no-hitter of 2013. Homer Bailey threw one against the San Francisco Giants July 2, and then 11 days later, the Giants had one of their own with Tim Lincecum throwing one against the San Diego Padres. For the record, Lincecum was the opposing pitcher when Bailey got his vs. San Francisco. It was Bailey second career no-hitter Sept. 28, 2012 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The bottom of the 9th started off with Justin Ruggiano batting first and going down. Then came Giancarlo Stanton and a base hit off Tiger pitcher Luke Putkonen, Logan Morrison followed up to that with another. Putkonen threw a wild pitch, advancing Morrison to 2nd and Stanton to 3rd. Then up came Adeiny Hechavarria, who came over to the Marlins with Alvarez from the Toronto Blue Jays in their blockbuster deal last offseason. He hit a grounder to short, runners held.
Chris Coghlan followed. It was a long at-bat, very intense. After being down to his his final strike with two outs, Coghlan battled back to draw the walk and bring up Greg Dobbs to pinch hit.
It doesn’t matter if the Tigers won their third straight AL Central crown, and will face the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS no matter what on Friday. It doesn’t matter if the Marlins had 100 losses and finished with the worst record in the NL and second worst in all of baseball in 2013. What matters is a no-hitter was on the line, bases loaded, Alvarez himself on deck, two outs, bottom of the 9th, scoreless game, it doesn’t get more intense than that, no matter who is playing.
Putkonen threw the wild pitch to Dobbs, Stanton scored, the Marlins win 1-0 and a walk off no-hitter happened.
So many people dislike this game because they think it is boring. How could anybody who watched that whole bottom of the 9th unfold live call baseball boring after that?
Baseball is never boring. It is definitely not boring when a pitcher has a no-hitter or perfect game going, and it is not, in any way, shape or form, boring when one saw the situation at hand between the Tigers and Marlins right before their very eyes on Sunday afternoon.
The big story going into Sunday was the three way lock between the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers to settle to the two AL Wild Card spots, and that alone would’ve made this final Sunday in the regular season memorable, throw everything that happened in Miami to that and fans may never forget the closing act on the 2013 MLB season, at least this fan won’t.
Henderson Alvarez, you more than deserve this moment. Congratulations.