Edinson Volquez spun his magical no-hitter on June 3rd at home against the Diamondbacks, and eighteen days later, Nationals ace Max Scherzer came to Miami firing. When Scherzer, who already has two no-hitters to his name got the first six outs on strikeouts and ended up shooting for his third career no-hitter, it felt as if Marlins Park was becoming the vortex for no-hitters in the universe.
Meanwhile, the Nats ace took a no-hitter into the eighth. He hadn’t allowed a base runner since the he hit Dee Gordon with a pitch in the second, while tallying 11 strikeouts with just one walk along the way.
Ryan Rayburn had hit a 1-0 changeup over the wall down the left field line in the fifth inning off of starter Dan Straily to give the Nats a 1-0 lead, and it seemed as if that would be all Washington would need today for the victory.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning the wheels came off for the Nationals.
With one-out, a 1-2 slider to A.J. Ellis was lined back to the mound, deflecting off of Scherzer’s glove and dribbled towards shortstop Trea Turner who was Unable to bare hand the slow roller. Ellis was able to motor into first base to break up the no-hitter. Not exactly a hit for the ages, but the Marlins would take it and hope for a rally.
J.T. Riddle was up next and grounded softly to second, while Ellis advanced to second base with two outs.
J.T. Realmuto reached first on an error by first baseman Adam Lind, putting runners at first at and third.
Dee Gordon was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
This led to Jose Urena to come into run for A.J. Ellis at third base. This would come into play quickly, as Scherzer sailed a 95 mph fastball to Giancarlo Stanton over catcher Jose Lobaton’s head. Urena starting running home while Scherzer also ran towards home to receive Lobaton’s throw to stay to salvage the shutout and, more importantly, the lead.
Urena’s hustle paid off, and the Marlins pitcher turned pinch-runner beat the throw, and the Marlins had capitalized on D.C.’s mistakes to tie the game 1-1. Stanton was still up, and on a 2-2 slider he smacked a line drive to left which fell in front of Ryan Raburn, to plate Realmuto. Even though Dee Gordon was thrown out at the plate while flying in from second, the Marlins took the lead 2-1, going into the ninth.
A.J. Ramos came in, and struck out two batters to pick up his 10th save of the year to close out a thrilling late victory to give the Marlins the series victory.
Not to overlooked was another fine effort from Marlins ace (?) Dan Straily, who went six innings while giving up only 3 hits while fanning 6. The only blemish on the day was the solo shot to Rayburn in the fifth.
Kudos to the bullpen (!), as Jarlin Garcia and Kyle Barraclough held the Nats in check while the Marlins rallied to take the game and the series.
The Fish foes continue to be challenging, as the Cubs come to town on Friday to start a four game set in Marlins Park. It will be a struggling Jake Arietta facing Jeff Locke with first pitch at 7:10.
Turning Point: The wild pitch in the eighth inning to score Urena and tie the game
King Fish: Marlins moxie to hang in there and take advantage of opportunities
Flounder: The Nats bullpen in absentia. Their mediocrity kept Scherzer in the game which helped the Fish’s comeback.