The Man With Two Last Names
Last September 29, Henderson Alvarez closed out an otherwise-forgettable season for the Marlins with a no-hitter. This season, he’s pitched two more shutouts already, including a nice one against the Mets on Tuesday. You could tell he was reaching deep into reserve to finish the 111-pitch victory, but he did it, and suddenly in his past eight starts, he has three shutouts. Alvarez is just 24 and now may be finding the consistency in his approach to reach the All-Star plateau.
Henderson is the second Venezuelan Alvarez to pitch a no-hitter in MLB; you all recall, of course, lefty Wilson Alvarez of Maracaibo and the Chicago White Sox pitching one against the Orioles in 1991, in his second Major-league start. Wilson won 102 games over 13 season and is now an Orioles pitching coach.
But back to Henderson: the guy who was once an All Star for the Lansing Lugnuts of the Single-A Midwest League shows the potential to make a lot of batters look like lugnuts in the Show. The last time he pitched against the Mets was in New York a week after he turned 24; he gave up two runs in six innings and got no decision. He left nothing to chance or to the bullpen this time. He also pitched a 28-batter no-run gem against the Mariners on April 19; it is Henderson’s turn to shine? Perhaps another righty from Valencia was observing with keen interest from the Seattle dugout that day.
(Henderson has a hint of the Abe Lincoln style beard favored by Elvis Andrus these days. Wonder how that’s gonna work out for him?)