It's the final day of the baseball season, and while other teams were thinking about the post season, Miami just wanted things to come to an end after a dismal year. And then Miami Marlins pitcher Henderson Álvarez had the game of his life. He was standing in the on-deck circle, waiting for his turn at bat, when his first career no-hitter was officially recorded into the history books. The fifth no-hitter this season had one of the most bizarre finishes in baseball history.
Álvarez threw nine full innings of no hit baseball -- striking out four batters along the way -- against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, but the game was still tied going into the bottom of the ninth. The abysmal Marlins offense couldn't muster a single run the entire game to help him out. But then, in that inning, something very odd happened. Giancarlo Stanton stepped up to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. A strike out would the game to extra innings; a hit potentially secures the no-hitter for Álvarez. This is what happened:
Stanton didn't have to do anything. The game ended on a wild pitch from Luke Putkonen. The place goes crazy. The team lost 100 games and missed the playoffs after ownership traded their best player to Toronto before the season started, so Marlins fans haven't had much to cheer about this year. Saving the best moment for the last game of the year, long after any remaining hope was lost, was the plan all along, right?
The ending truly was historic. ESPN's stats department quickly pointed out it was the first walk-off no-hitter (when the game ends abruptly in the final inning) in sixteen years. "You're not likely to see a no-hitter like this again in your lifetime, so soak it in," writes Deadspin's Timothy Burke. Weird things have happened during no-hitters before, as Grantland's Jonah Keri pointed out on Twitter after the game ended, but this finish was nearly unbelievable. Álvarez made sure to share the moment with his pregnant wife and unborn child before heading off to the dugout for the team's official celebration, per Buzzfeed's Erik Malinowski: