MIAMI -- As the hitless innings were piling up on Sunday afternoon, so was Dan Straily's pitch count. By the sixth inning, it was blatantly clear that if the Marlins were to no-hit the Mets, it would require a group effort.It was four outs away from happening. But with two
MIAMI -- As the hitless innings were piling up on Sunday afternoon, so was Dan Straily's pitch count. By the sixth inning, it was blatantly clear that if the Marlins were to no-hit the Mets, it would require a group effort.
It was four outs away from happening. But with two outs in the eighth inning, Neil Walker singled to center off Brad Ziegler, ending the no-hit bid. Still Miami ended up winning the day, in walk-off fashion on rookie J.T. Riddle's two-run homer in the ninth that sealed a 4-2 victory at Marlins Park.
In Marlins' history, there have been five no-hitters. The last being turned in by Henderson Alvarez against the Tigers on Sept. 29, 2013.
"We definitely didn't talk about it," Ziegler said of making history. "I knew what was going on, but for most of the game, when it's a 1-0 game, you don't really think about [no-hitters]."
Winning the game was always the priority.
"It's like, whatever you need to do to win this game. We knew what winning this series could do for us, momentum-wise," Ziegler said. "We didn't want to lose the lead late. You think about it a little, but at the same time, I wasn't thinking about it on the mound until after [Walker] got the hit. Then, I was like, 'Dang, that kind of stinks.'"
Walker had walked three times before his clean single.
"We knew we didn't have any hits," Walker said. "But we also knew that in a 2-0 game, any chance to get on -- whether it be a walk or whatever the case may be -- we just had to keep fighting and grind it out."
Straily worked 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking five. He was at 93 pitches, with 50 strikes when manager Don Mattingly took the ball with two on and one out.
"I think it was the right spot," Mattingly said. "Even though he has a no-hitter into the sixth, and he's not going to make it, unless he throws 150-60, and that's not going to happen."
Lefty Jarlin Garcia entered in trying circumstances, with runners on first and second. The rookie struck out Jay Bruce and got Lucas Duda on a routine fly ball to left.
"I really was just trying my best to throw strikes," Straily said. "I was just kind of sporadic at times, effectively wild, if you will. I felt I had good stuff today. Just at times, the fastball up, they weren't swinging at it. Keep sticking to my guns, got through 5 1/3. I was fortunate not to give up a run."
Kyle Barraclough had a clean seventh, and Ziegler had two outs in the eighth before Walker and Yoenis Cespedes had back-to-back singles.
With two on, Ziegler focused on "slowing everything down."
"They were an extra-base hit away from tying the game," Ziegler said. "I needed to make a good pitch to Bruce, and fortunately, I did."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.