Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann needed a little help from his defense to get the final out of his no-hitter. Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich lined Zimmermann's 104th and final pitch to the left-center gap in the outfield, but Nationals left fielder Steven Souza Jr. was there to make an incredible diving catch to save the first no-no in Nats history.
In front of 35,085 fans at Nationals Park for the final game of the regular season, Zimmermann struck out 10 and walked one as the Nats went on to win 1-0.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 28, 2014
For eight innings, the Nationals played defense without Souza on the field. But in the final inning, Nats manager Matt Williams decided to put the 25-year-old in as a defensive replacement.
"It came at a weird angle and my second hand came in there. I was holding it like a football," Souza said, via MLB.com. "Sometimes when you come in the game, the ball finds you. I was just ready. I was going to put my body on the line for him."
Coincidentally, it was Miami's starting pitcher on Sunday, Henderson Alvarez, who threw a no-hitter in the 162nd game of last season. On the final day of this season, Alvarez was the losing pitcher as Zimmermann threw the fifth no-no of the season (including Philadelphia's combined no-hitter).
"I thought there was no way this would ever happen. My career numbers are something like one hit per inning, so I figure if I can make it out of the first, the hit's coming in the second," said Zimmermann, per the Associated Press. "But today was one of those special days."