Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. 282. What does that number mean to you? Could it be how many players have put on the Marlins uniform? Nope. How about the career leader in home runs for the Marlins? Not that one either. Could it be how many people are in Cooperstown? Close, that number is 306. 282 is how many no hitters have been thrown in the majors. Moment 23 brings us the 250th no hitter in major league history- A.J. Burnett’s no hitter on May 12, 2001.
When the 41,000 plus fans piled into Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to see their Padres face off against the Marlins, little did they know that they were going to be a part of baseball history. A.J. started the 1st with a strikeout of Rickey Henderson, a ground out from Mark Kotsay, a walk to Ryan Klesko (there goes the perfect game), and a ground out from Dave Magadan. This seemed like a typical 1st inning in any normal baseball game. In the 2nd A.J. walked two batters but with the help of a double play got out of the inning with no hits. Ok, nothing out of the ordinary yet. In the 3rd A.J. faced 5 batters, but still game up no hits or runs. 5 walks so far but no hits, interesting. In the 4th it was the same thing, 5 batters no hits. Hmmm, could something magical be going on?
The 5th inning would be A.J.’s first 1-2-3 inning. A.J. is now 12 outs away from a no hitter. Oh no, I said “no hitter”! I think I jinxed it! Wait, this happened in 2001, never mind. The 6th was the same as the 5th with A.J. once again going 1-2-3. We are now 9 outs away. In the 7th inning he would walk a batter but the other 3 batters wouldn’t come close to getting a hit. 6 outs away. Now in the 8th A.J. would walk 2 more batters but the other batters would ground out and pop up in foul territory twice that inning. 3 outs away.
We are now in the bottom of the 9th. A.J. is still in the game with 120 pitches under his belt. Out number 1 came from a fly ball to right field. 2 more outs to go. Pitch 126 would be a strike 3 swinging. 1 more out to go. The Padres last chance. Pitch 127 was called a ball. Pitch 128 was a looking strike. Finally pitch 129 a pop fly to Alex Gonzalez for the final out of the game and A.J.’s no hitter!
This no hitter would be the 3rd in Marlins history. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at another no hitter in Marlins history.