Sometimes, all a baseball team needs is a spark. The Miami Marlins might have gotten that last night when Edinson Volquez pitched a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Hours after paying tribute on social media to his late friend Yordano Ventura, Volquez threw a no-hitter. Emotionally driven, he struck out 10 and walked two in the Marlins' 3-0 victory over the D-backs at Marlins Park.
It was something out of baseball lore.
"It's a special day for me and the Ventura family," Volquez said. "It was a good win, no-hitter."
The Marlins have won their last two games and are 7-3 in their last 10 contests. The hitting has been the strength of this team through the first 54 games of the 2017 MLB season. The pitching has been suspect. Manager Don Mattingly has dealt with inconsistency and injuries. Hopefully something like this, which will continue to be talked about in South Florida, will become the catalyst for a pitching turnaround.
Ventura, the former Royals' ace who died in a car accident in January, would have turned 26 on Saturday. Before taking the mound, Volquez posted on Instagram that he missed his former teammate. The two won a World Series together in Kansas City in 2015, and they were close friends.
"This means a lot," Volquez said. "I was pretty close to him. This really hurts. To do something like I did today, that's really special for me to dedicate the game to him. It was one of those days you wake up don't really know what's going to happen. Next thing you know, you have a no-hitter."
Volquez, who signed a free agent deal with the Marlins this offseason, has been shaky as the team’s top starter. He also dealt with a blister on the thumb of his pitching hand that forced him to miss time in the rotation. Now, having done something special like a “no-no” maybe this is the poignant moment that turns it around for the 33-year-old Dominican Republic native.