Marlins pitcher Rick VandenHurk no-hit the Braves last night in his first big league start since recently being recalled up from Double-A Carolina. Unfortunately, the no-hitter lasted only five innings. But still. Not too shabby. VandenHurk walked five and threw a whopping 94 pitches on the night before skipper Fredi Gonzalez gave him the hook (Final line: 5 innings, 0 hits, 5 walks, 7 Ks). It was 23-year old VandenHurk’s first big league win since August 23. And while he threw close to 100 pitches in only five innings, the performance was an encouraging sign, seeing how opposing hitters had been turning VandenHurk into their own personal piñata earlier in the season before he was sent down (Thanks to last night, VandenHurk’s ERA is now only 6.10. Wee!!).
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The rest of the Marlins hurlers who came in relief for VandenHurk only gave a combined one hit – a Chipper Jones line-drive off of Joe Nelson – leading the Fish to a one-hit, 4-0 shutout victory against Atlanta. Renyel Pinto threw two perfect innings while Matt Lindstrom closed up shop nicely with a 1-2-3 ninth. It was the best pitching performance this team had seen since Anibal Sanchez’s no-hitter against the Diamondbacks in 2006 -- except it took four pitchers to do it. No matter. A win is a win for the Marlins, especially when it comes courtesy of some dandy pitching. Mike Jacobs provided all the offense the Marlins would need with a 3-run homer in the fourth, his twentieth on the season. Florida is now just one game back behind the NL East leading Phillies.
- Chris Joseph