Monday, September 30, 2013

Marlins' Henderson Alvarez Throw No-Hitter in 1-0 Win over Tigers; Geovany Soto Leads Rangers to Wild Card Tie

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 29, 2013

American League

Geovany Soto
Breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth with an RBI double, Geovany Soto later homered in the eighth to complete the Texas scoring for a 6-2 win over the Angels, completing the sweep and extending the Rangers' winning streak to close out the season at seven straight.

The win was critical, as the Rangers ended the regular season tied with Tampa Bay - a 7-6 winner over the Blue Jays - for the second wild card spot. The two teams will play a Monday night wild card tie-breaker at Texas, the winner heading to Cleveland for another "sudden death" one game wild card playoff.

The winner in Cleveland will move on to face Boston in the seven-game, AL divisional series.

Cleveland took the top spot in the wild card by winning their tenth straight, a 5-1 triumph over the Twins. Their efforts gave them the top spot and home field for the one-game playoff with the Texas-Tampa Bay survivor.

National League

Henderson Alvarez
When the Tigers took the field for the regular season's final game with a lineup consisting largely of bench-warmers, they probably were aware that they might not score many runs, but it may never have occurred to them that they would be no-hit by Miami starter, Henderson Alvarez.

Alvarez dueled with Justin Verlander, who blanked the Marlins over six innings, then continued the no-hit bid through the seventh and eighth against a pair odf Detroit starters getting some extra work in - Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, respectively.

After he set the final three Tigers down in the ninth, Alvarez had done the improbable, though his teammates had been unable to score a run off the Detroit hurlers.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers sent Luke Putkonen to the mound, who allowed back-to-back one-out singles to Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, both of whom moved up a base on Putkonen's wild pitch to Adeiny Hechavarria, who eventually grounded to short for the second out, freezing both baserunners.

After walking Chris Coughlin to load the bases, Greg Dobbs was at the plate when Putkonen uncorked his second wild pitch of the season, sending Stanton to the plate with the winning run.

Alvarez, who was in the on-deck circle, joined with his teammates in celebration over the 1-0 no-hit victory. While Miami's season was a flop - they finished with the worst record in the NL, at 62-100 - at least it ended on a high note.

Alvarez plunked Prince Fielder with two outs in the first inning en route to his history-making performance, setting down twelve straight from the first inning until shortstop Hechavarria booted a Jose Iglesias grounder for an error in the fifth.

Going through the sixth, seventh and eighth without mishap, Alvarez got two outs in the ninth before walking Andy Dirks, but then struck out Matt Tuiasosopo to complete his nine innings of hitless ball. He threw 99 pitches, 66 of which went for strikes and struk out four Detroit hitters, improving his record for the year to 5-6.

Today's Trivia: Who was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, and the league MVP in 2011? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: The last Cincinnati player to win either the Cy Young or MVP award was Joey Votto, MVP in 2010.

No comments: