Gio Gonzalez almost threw a no-hitter on Monday and it would've been under some very amazing circumstances. Alas, Dee Gordon of the Marlins broke it up to lead off the ninth inning with a line-drive single.
The Nationals would hold on to win 1-0, moving to 63-48 on the season.
As for the circumstances ...
Monday would have been the 25th birthday of former Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The no-hitter not only would have taken place in Marlins Park, but Fernandez's family visited the site of the fatal boating accident and Marlins Park on Monday.
Further, Gonzalez was close with Fernandez. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post on the day of Fernandez's death:
Gio Gonzalez knew Fernandez, and though Gonzalez seems to know everyone, they were friends for reasons beyond their shared Cuban heritage and South Florida ties. The gregarious Gonzalez hardly ever enters the clubhouse silently, never skipping over anyone when he doles out his "good mornings." But Sunday, he was met by hugs, and asked not to address reporters about Fernandez's death -- too upset. A few minutes later he trudged out to right field to play catch. When he returned to the dugout, he was pushing up his sunglasses, rubbing his eyes.
There was a no-hitter in Marlins Park this season and it came from Marlins starter Edinson Volquez of the Marlins.
Here's where it gets amazing in the coincidence, one that would have been more a storybook finish had Gonzalez completed the no-no: Volquez lost a friend this past offseason in former teammate Yordano Ventura and Volquez's no-hitter came on what would've been Ventura's 26th birthday. He had posted a tribute to Ventura to Instagram before the outing.
Volquez threw a no-hitter in Marlins Park on his passed-away friend's would-be birthday earlier this season. Gonzalez took a no-no into the ninth inning in Marlins Park on his passed-away friend's would-be birthday on Monday.
It's a bit eerie, no?