Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was one of Yordano Ventura’s closest friends.
As teammates back in 2015, they helped the Kansas City Royals win the 2015 World Series title, and the two remained close before a car crash tragically took Ventura’s life in their native Dominican Republic this January.
Therefore, on what would have been Ventura’s 26th birthday on Saturday, Volquez intended on doing something special on the mound in his start against a tough Arizona Diamondbacks lineup.
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Needing just 98 pitches, Volquez magically threw a no-hitter, striking out 10 while walking just two batters en route to a 3-0 victory. He also dramatically struck out the side in the ninth inning to finish the game in style.
It was just the second of his 11 starts this season in which he gave up less than two earned runs. He had also struck out 10 batters total in his previous three starts (spanning 18.0 innings) and was 1-7 on the year entering the contest. Therefore, the improbability of the event was obvious.
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Here are some highlights of the incredible performance:
After the game, his emotions spilled out, as he dedicated his incredible performance to not only Ventura, but also Jose Fernandez, who was killed last season in a boating accident.
"[Ventura] was one of my best friends. I'm pretty sure he's in the right place right now, enjoying this moment right now," Volquez told Fox Sports Florida.
"They watching right now, what happened today. And they must feel really happy right now," Volquez exclaimed.
Before the game, Volquez posted the following picture of himself and Ventura from their time together on the Royals:
What a touching tribute before what was a magnificent outing that arguably featured some divine intervention.
Since entering the league as an expansion franchise in 1993, the Marlins have now thrown the most no-hitters in the MLB in that span.
The last no-hitter in Marlins history was accomplished by Henderson Alvarez back in 2013. That also happened to be the last time a pitcher threw a no-no with less than 100 pitches thrown.
Despite allowing two baserunners in the game, Volquez faced the minimum 27 batters despite not pitching a perfect game. That had only been done once before.
Baseball’s first no-hitter of the 2017 season couldn’t have happened in a more dramatic and perfect way. Sometimes performances in the world of sports stop you in your tracks and make you smile. This is an example of one of those times.
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