Tigers first playoff-bound MLB team ever no-hit in final game of regular season
DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers finished the regular season with one last singular achievement.
As in, they failed to get a singular hit off Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez, becoming the first-ever postseason-bound team in Major League Baseball history to be no-hit in their final game of the regular season.
“You never want to get no-hit, but sometimes you just have to tip your cap,” Justin Verlander, the author of two no-hitters himself, and Alvarez’s opposition Sunday, said on the Fox Sports Detroit postgame show. “You never want to get no-hit, but I guess better now than later.”
Only eight playoff-bound teams had previously been no-hit in September. The last was the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, who were victim of a perfect game by Cincinnati’s Tom Browning on Sept. 16, before going on to win the World Series. The 1969 “Miracle Mets” also ended up as World Series champs, after being no-hit by Pittsburgh’s Bob Moose on Sept. 20.
The only other teams to be no-hit on their final game of the regular season were the 1984 Texas Rangers, who were blanked by California’s Mike Witt on Sept. 30, and the 1975 California Angels, who were no-hit by the A’s Vida Blue on Sept. 28.
Alvarez’s no-hitter was also the sixth time since 1900 that a no-hitter ended on a walk-off play, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Sunday’s game ended 1-0, when Giancarlo Stanton scored from third on a bases-loaded, two-out wild pitch by Luke Putkonen.
The most recent three were all settled on hits, including Vic Wertz’s ninth-inning HR that won Virgil Trucks’ no-hitter for the Tigers on May 15, 1952.
2013 Detroit Tigers (Sept. 29, by Miami's Henderson Alvarez)
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 16, by Cincinnati's Tom Browning)*
1986 California Angels (Sept. 19)
1983 Chicago White Sox (Sept. 29)
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 26)*
1970 Minnesota Twins (Sept. 21)
1969 New York Mets (Sept. 20)*
1968 St. Louis Cardinals (Sept. 17)
1958 New York Yankees (Sept. 20)*
* — Went on to win World Series