Edinson Volquez joined an exclusive club Saturday as the Marlins’ pitcher tossed the first no-hitter of his career.
The no-hitter was the sixth in the Marlins’ 25 seasons and first since Henderson Alvarez ended the 2013 regular season by beating the visiting Detroit Tigers 1-0.
The first no-hitter in Marlins history came on May 11, 1996, when Al Leiter — now a TV analyst — no-hit the Colorado Rockies.
Since then, Kevin Brown, A.J. Burnett, Anibal Sanchez, Alvarez and Volquez have followed. Four of the Marlins’ six no-hitters have come on home turf: Two at Joe Robbie/Dolphin Stadium and the past two at Marlins Park.
After beating the Diamondbacks again on Sunday afternoon, the Marlins have yet to throw a perfect game.
There’s always tomorrow, however. Miami opens a three-game set at Wrigley Field against the Cubs on Monday night.
1. Al Leiter beats the Colorado Rockies 11-0; May 11, 1996:
The first no-hitter in Marlins history stands as the top one as Al Leiter held the heavy-hitting Rockies in check with 102 pitches. While Leiter hit a batter and walked a pair, Colorado didn’t come close to getting a base hit.
“It was a feeling of jubilation,” Leiter said afterward, “jubilation and relief and exhaustion.”
Walt Weiss, who was on Florida’s inaugural team in 1993, had a grounder that rolled foul in the seventh before popping up to catcher Charles Johnson (who ended up catching three of the Marlins’ six no-hitters).
“It’s an emotional thing,” Marlins manager Rene Lachemann said. “How many chances do you get for a no-hitter?”
2. Kevin Brown beats the San Francisco Giants 9-0; June 10, 1997:
Kevin Brown had been struggling going into his start against the Giants in June of what would be a pretty big year for the Marlins. Brown had lost his past two starts, giving up 13 runs in 12 innings.
On this day, however, he was close to perfect. The only runner to reach came in the eighth when Brown hit Marvin Benard on the knee with a pitch.
While Brown had seven strikeouts, only three balls were hit to the outfield.
“To see him smile … to see him get the no-hitter. He doesn’t smile that much. I know it was a great feeling,” Charles Johnson said.
3. Henderson Alvarez beats the Detroit Tigers 1-0; Sept. 29, 2013:
It was an odd way to end a no-hitter as Henderson Alvarez watched from the on-deck circle as the Marlins didn’t get the deciding run until the final pitch of the final day of the regular season as Giancarlo Stanton raced home from third on a wild pitch from Detroit reliever Luke Putkonen.
And that was a wrap on the Marlins’ second season in their new home in Little Havana.
“I don’t know that, in your life, you can envision a no-hitter ending like that,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Said Juan Pierre: “I can’t even explain it.”
Alvarez threw the fifth no-hitter in franchise history and first to do so on the final day of the season since 1984.
“I thought to myself, ‘God, give me this inning, a hit or whatever, to win and get the no-hitter,’ ” Alvarez said.
4. Edinson Volquez beats the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0; June 3, 2017:
Here is the lede to Saturday’s game story from Ethan Bauer:
When he struck out swinging, 21,548 fans cheered as he trotted back to the dugout and prepared to send them home with an unforgettable baseball memory as he prepared to complete a no-hitter in the top of the ninth inning.
When he emerged, fans savored every pitch. Marlins Park teetered between cheers of relief and intense silence while watching Volquez strike out the first two hitters of the ninth. All he had to do was retire Arizona pinch-hitter Chris Owings.
He notched two strikes as fans rose and cheers shattered the silence. Then there was a changeup in the dirt, a swing-and-miss and a throw to first.
The real ovation could finally begin.
With the strikeout of Owings, Volquez completed the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he said.
5. Anibal Sanchez beats the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0; Sept. 6, 2006:
The fourth no-hitter in franchise history was the first in MLB in over two years and started with a steady drizzle at Dolphin Stadium.
It ended with the rookie pitcher being mobbed at the mound after Eric Byrnes grounded to shortstop Hanley Ramirez for the game’s final out.
Sanchez, in tears, was carried off the field on the shoulders of teammates Dontrelle Willis and Matt Herges.
“I cried because I was excited,” Sanchez said afterward. “This is the best moment of my life. I’m going to remember this every morning, every day.”
6. A.J. Burnett beats the San Diego Padres 3-0; May 12, 2001:
A.J. Burnett started this day with a headache, a sore throat and a scar on his right hand from an accidental burn from a hotel iron.
When it was done, he was showed in champagne and beer inside the Marlins’ clubhouse in San Diego.
It was a wild game with the nine walks, a wild pitch and hit batter — yet no hits put Burnett in the history book.
The game ended on a pop fly from Phil Nevin with shortstop Alex Gonzalez settling under it.
“That ball took two hours to come down,” Burnett said. “When it came down, it was the best feeling of my life.”