Marlins’ right-hander Edinson Volquez shut down the Diamondbacks in this season’s first no-hit game, the first of Volquez’s career and sixth in the short history of the Marlins franchise. And the legendary career of Albert Pujols reached another major milestone with home run no. 600. More after the jump.
Volquez faced the minimum 27 batters while allowing two walks (both were erased on double plays) and striking out ten. Aside from the walks, he had just one other 3-ball count, finishing the game on just 98 pitches, only the 8th no-hitter of the last 72 (since pitch counts were officially recorded starting in 1988) requiring fewer than 100 pitches.
Volquez’s record (1-7, 4.44) entering the game hardly suggested he might be on the verge of such an historic achievement; however, he had gone 6 innings in his 4 prior starts, after only one such game among his first 6 outings, so there were signs he was starting to put things together. This was just the third 9-inning complete game of Volquez’s career, the first being his one-hit shutout of the Astros in 2012.
Volquez’s game almost didn’t happen, after a collision at first base retiring Arizona’s Rey Fuentes for the first out the game. Volquez continued to limp going to and from his position, but was able to keep his ailment from affecting his delivery. Volquez may also have been inspired by the memory of his close friend and fellow Dominican pitcher, the late Yordano Ventura, whose birthday it was this day.
In its 25th season, the Marlins franchise joins an elite group of clubs with six no-hitters in their first quarter century.
- 9 – Boston Red Sox (1901-25)
- 8 – Houston Astros (1962-86)
- 7 – Chicago White Sox (1901-25), Los Angeles Angels (1961-85)
- 6 – Brooklyn Superbas (1884-1908), Miami Marlins (1993-2017)
Saturday’s other big story was the milestone home run game of Albert Pujols, becoming the ninth player to reach 600 home runs, and only the third to also record 600 doubles. Pujols blasted a fourth inning grand slam off Twins’ ace Ervin Santana to become the first of the nine with a grannie for his 600th (that grand slam was one of seven on this day, a new record for the most on the same day).
Pujols records no. 600 in his 17th season, and needs 14 more dingers this year to pass Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds for the most home runs in the first 17 seasons of a career. Last year, Pujols joined Stan Musial as the only players with 600 doubles in the first 16 seasons of a career. Reaching both milestones by his 17th season is a unique accomplishment for Pujols; the other two players in the 600/600 club reached both of those milestones in their 21st (Hank Aaron) and 22nd (Barry Bonds) seasons.
Earlier this season, Pujols passed 150 doubles and 150 home runs in the AL to become the tenth player with those totals in both leagues. How many of the others can you name?