Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez was putting something special together on Monday night against the Miami Marlins.
The left-handed hurler took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before surrendering a single to Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon with no outs in the inning.
However, a previous at-bat of Gordon's provided one of the funniest moments of the night, as the speedy infielder couldn't quite hold on to his bat during the sixth inning.
As you can see in the video below, Gordon swings at an 0-2 offering from Gonzalez, striking out as he misses horribly. However, the bat slips out of Gordon's hands and flies toward Gonzalez, landing just in front of him. Gonzalez then pretends to field the bat and fakes a throw to first before returning the bat to its owner:
The announcers had a good laugh at Gonzalez's antics and the light-hearted moment definitely helped keep the left-hander loose as he chased a no-hitter.
After Gordon singled to start the ninth inning, Gonzalez was removed from the game. However, Nationals manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com that he was proud of his pitcher for battling through eight hitless innings:
"He was really focused and very calm," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "The best I've seen him, and the longest I've seen him. We were all hoping for it. Nobody was saying anything, but he knew it, the fans knew it, everybody knew it."
Gonzalez threw 106 pitches in his eight innings of work, striking out five batters and walking three others. The Nationals managed to hold on for a 1-0 victory.
The win, which came on what would have been former Miami star pitcher Jose Fernandez's 25th birthday, Gonzalez wanted to honor his friend - who died in a boating accident earlier this year - while managing to keep his emotions under control:
"I tried to tone it down," Gonzalez said. "Don't let this be too much overpowering the game and what you're doing. I can understand, too, from their side. Today was a very emotional day. They know what's going on. I'm sure for all of us it was one of those games you just want to -- if we can all sit down and just kind of like chit chat about the good times with Jose more than going up against each other and trying to play baseball. I think it's a different story when you have to put that kind of in perspective and play the game."
The Nationals improved to 63-41 with the victory and now lead the second-place Marlins by a whopping 14 games in the National League East division.News Now - Sport News