On Sunday, the affiliate for the Washington Nationals in the Gulf Coast League made history, when four pitchers combined to throw two no-hitters in both games of a doubleheader.
The two seven-inning no-hitters against the GCL Marlins saw the Nationals win the first game 4-0 and the second 1-0, in Jupiter, Florida at Roger Dean Stadium.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Joan Baez a right-hander for the GCL Nationals allowed no hits in six innings before Jose Jimenez came in for the seventh inning giving up just a walk but retiring the side for the save.
Left-hander Jared Johnson threw four shutout innings in the second half of the doubleheader allowing only a walk. He was followed by Gilberto Chu who was perfect in his three innings of relief.
As with many feats that take place in the minor leagues, this one had its share of unique circumstances.
A rain out during last week is what caused the doubleheader to be played Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the Nationals took advantage of that to set the tone for what would be a long day for the Marlins’ hitters.
Baez, who is just 22, was recently reassigned to play for the GCL Nationals so he could make mechanical adjustments. It appears they are working.
He had an ERA of 5.10 in the high Class-A league that forced him to be demoted to complete the roster on the rookie league team.
On Sunday it appeared he was not sulking about his demotion as he easily retired the Marlins. Baez, who is from the Dominican Republic, signed with the organization and at 19 pitched well enough to leave the Dominican Summer League
However, since that time, his career has not gone as planned, but his latest performance can sure be a stepping stone to better things.
Johnson has been a pro player for just over a month and could have stayed in his own bed Saturday. Picked in the 17th round last month from Palm Beach Community College, just six miles from the stadium, Johnson was only pitching his seventh game as a pro and just his second start.
Of course, that is why he spent just four innings on the mound before being replaced in the fifth by Chu who did not let him or the team down by finishing off the second no-hitter of the day.