Marlins 1, Tigers 0: Henderson Alvarez no-hits Tigers, Marlins walk off on Luke Putkonen wild pitch

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Two out in the bottom of the ninth, Luke Putkonen wild pitched in the game winning run, giving the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez a no-hit victory in the final game of the regular season.


Final - 9.29.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Miami Marlins 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 1
WP: Henderson Alvarez (5 - 6)
LP: Luke Putkonen (1 - 3)

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The 100 loss Miami Marlins wrapped up a three game sweep of the playoff bound Detroit Tigers thanks to Henderson Alvarez's no-hitter. To give Alvarez his no-no, the Marlins had to snap a 0-0 tie with with no one on and one out in the bottom of the ninth. The rally was capped when Giancarlo Stanton scored the game winning run on Luke Putkonen's wild pitch.

An injured Miguel Cabrera sat out the regular season finale, but had already locked up his third consecutive AL batting title with a .348 average. Much in thanks to his numerous late season injuries, Cabrera fell short in the home run and RBI race, finishing behind Chris Davis. 53-44 and 138-137 respectively.

Alvarez (5-6) was brilliant, no-hitting the Tigers on just 99 pitches. He walked one, hit another, a third Tiger reaching base via an error. Locked in as the AL three seed, the Tigers didn't play their many of their starters, and the bench was emptied by the end of the game. But give credit where credit is due, Alvarez was just as good early on when the Tigers had some of the starters still in the lineup. A no-hitter is a remarkable feat, because a big league hitter is still a big league hitter.

"It could be a good thing. A wake-up call for our offense." -Jim Leyland on being swept via a no-hitter

The good news for the Tigers is Justin Verlander was great for a second straight start. He allowed just three hits, striking out ten in six outstanding innings. Outstanding is the last thing you could say about Pukonen's (1-3) performance. Putkonen retired only two, allowing two singles, a walk and uncorking a pair of wild pitches to ensure Alvarez got his no-hitter.

A great season for the Tigers ends in ignominious fashion.  But no one will even remember this game when the playoffs kick in this Friday. No matter how the Tigers would have lost, be it a blowout or via a no-no, it meant nothing.

Anyone who remembers how the 2006 season ended realizes this series, and for that matter, getting no-hit, doesn't guarantee the Tigers will continue to struggle. That Tigers' team gave away the division on the final weekend, backing into the playoffs as a wild card. And we all know that same team which badly stumbled at the end of the season was gangbusters in the playoffs.

Reading ANYTHING into this game or series is a waste of time. Despite what media narratives would have you believe, there is no such thing as momentum in sports.

Keep this in mind as well.

The only drama going into the game was Justin Verlander's not-hitting streak, 0-for-24 for his career. Verlander made contact in his first at bat in the top of the third, bouncing out to second. So that's something!

As for the completely meaningless game, not much of interest had gone down. Through four innings, the only Tigers' base runner off Henderson Alvarez  was Prince Fielder, who was hit by a pitch in the first.  The Marlins had just two singles off Verlander, who looked more than ready for the playoffs. He was in video game style strikeout out mode with eight.

Top of five, Jose Iglesias became only the second Tiger to reach base, thanks to Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria committing a couple of errors on a ground ball, though he could only be charged for one. He both booted Iglesias' ground ball and his throw to first was in the dirt. Not that it made a difference for a Tigers team which was just going through the motions. Ramon Santiago bounced out to end the inning, the Tigers now hitless through 4 1/2.

Verlander remained beastly on the mound, having allowed just two hits, walking one and recording nine strikeouts through five full innings. Top of the sixth, Verlander just missed his first career hit, slicing an 0-2 pitch down the right field line. but his fly ball dropped just inches foul in the right field corner. He then went down looking.

Meanwhile, the Tigers were still hitless through six. Keep in mind they were playing mostly bench players at this point. The only regulars left in the lineup by the bottom of the sixth were Andy Dirks, Jhonny Peralta and Iglesias,

Entering the bottom half of the sixth, Verlander's pitch count was a tidy 65. But the bullpen was stirring, Leyland wanting to make sure they got work in before the upcoming four day layoff. A dominant Velrander was in his last inning of work.

Verlander did allow a one out single to Ed Lucas on a a ground ball which Iglesias could have been dinged for an error. The Tigers' ace wrapped up his final regular season outing in fine fashion with six shutout innings, Giancarlo Stanton punched out on a wicked, knee-breaking curve.

At this point on FSD, Rod Allen and Mario Impemba were openly rooting for the Tigers to break up Alvarez's no-hit bid. It didn't help, the Tigers going down 1-2-3.

Being Doug Fister is not scheduled to start for well over a week, he pitched the bottom of the seventh for the Tigers. The Tall Man allowed a two out single before Hernan Perez made a slick over the shoulder basket catch in short right to end the inning.

On to the eighth with the game scoreless and the Tigers without a base hit. More of the same for the tigers in the top half of the inning, going down in order.

Not even SBNation's Marlins' blog, Fish Stripes, was paying attention. Their game thread had all of 25 comments in the eighth inning. All that was missing was cobwebs and tumbleweeds.

Rick Porcello got his work in, pitching a hitless bottom of the eighth.

Alvarez was cruising to a no-hitter. The few thousand in attendance were on their feet as a pinch-hitting Alex Avila and Don Kelly were retired on comebackers. Dirks became the third Tiger to reach base when he walked on four pitches with two out.

It was up to Matt Tuiasosopo to break up the no-no. HA! Yeah, right. His hitless skein reached 0-for-22 (his last hit was over a month ago, August 26), striking out to end the inning.

"I don't want to take anything away from him (Alvarez)." -Leyland, when commenting on the Tigers' Triple-A quality lineup

Remarkably (or is it, considering the Tigers' gimped lineup), Alvarez had tossed nine hittless innings on a mere 99 pitches (it would be a "Maddux" if the Marlins walked off).

In bottom of the ninth, Luke Putkonen allowed back-to-back singles by Stanton and Logan Morrison with one out. Facing Hechavarria, Putkonen started overthrowing, bouncing a couple of pitches into the dirt. The runners advanced on the second, scored a wild pitch.

The infield in, Hechavarria bounced to Peralta, now playing short, for the second out. Struggling to throw strikes, Putkonen walked Chris Coghlan to load the bases.

Greg Dobbs pinch-hitting, Putkonen proceeded to gag away the game and give Alvarez his no-hitter by throwing his second wild pitch. Stanton raced across the plate to give the 100 loss Marlins a ridiculous no-hit, walk off victory.

A loss is still a loss, no matter how it goes down. Just think of it this way.

An annoying loss if there ever was one. But it doesn't change the fact the Tigers have lights out starting pitching, which can carry you a long, long way in the post season. These are the numbers from the final starts of the Tigers' playoff rotation:

Max Scherzer: Seven innings, two hits, ten strikeouts, no runs.

Anibal Sanchez: Five innings, two hits, eight strikeouts, no runs.

Justin Verlander: Six innings, three hits, ten strikeouts,  no runs.

Doug Fister: 6 1/3 innings, eight hits, seven strikeouts, two runs.

If anyone should be worried, it's the Athletics.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs

BULLETS:

Our good friends Rogo and Tokarz bring the common sense.

The game in a nutshell.

Quite true. But it's only one game.

On a personal note, I hope everyone enjoyed our game coverage at BYB this season! It was a ton of work, but you made the time and energy we put in worthwhile, as we've had a record setting year at BYB. Thank you so much for reading!

TWO ROARS:

Justin Verlander: I really like the Tigers' playoff chances if this is the Verlander we'll see in the post season.

Henderson Alvarez: The kid was nails, tossing a no-hitter and a Maddux.

THREE HISSES:

Luke Putkonen: The bases empty with one out, Putkonen proceeded to find one of the more ridiculous ways I've ever seen a reliever choke away a game.

Matt Tuiasosopo: It's outright depressing watching Tuiasosopo struggle at the plate. He was completely lost at the plate in what may have been his final at bats as a Tiger.

The Tigers: This weekend was a textbook case of "mailing it in."

ROLL CALL:

Total comments 287
Total commenters 34
Commenter list BadCompany22, BigAl, Cabbylander, DJ Screw, Designated for Assignment, Grzesio, HookSlide, Jacob30, MSUDersh, MakeItTrizzle, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, NCDee, Nonsuch Ned, Parisian Tiger, RedWingedLigerFan, SanDiegoMick, ShowingBunt, Singledigit, SpartanBoiler, SpartanHT, Starsailor, TN Ben, Tbone Tiger, Tigerdog1, TomduhB, Verlanderful, ahtrap, bowling255, frisbeepilot, kirdo, knucklescarbone, stevenyc, texastigerfan, welcome to good burger
Story URLs http://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/9/29/4782772/game-162-tigers-at-marlins-1-10-p-m

TOP TEN COMMENTERS:

1 texastigerfan 52
2 NCDee 41
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5 stevenyc 21
6 frisbeepilot 17
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9 Grzesio 12
10 Jacob30 9

TOP RECS:

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GAME 161 PLAYER OF THE GAME:

It could be no one other than Anibal Sanchez, who clinched the AL ERA title with five shutout innings. Sanchez carried 92% of the vote.

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