Results tagged ‘ Kevin Brown ’

Postseason pitching flashbacks

After more than five decades, Don Larsen finally has company, and baseball has another game for the ages.

beckett.jpgRoy Halladay placed himself in exclusive company on Wednesday by tossing the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history. Halladay and the Phillies blanked the Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 of their NationaL League Division Series.

Before Halladay’s historical performance, Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series stood as the lone no-hitter in MLB postseason history. Standing in the way of perfection for Halladay was a lone walk.

The Marlins can certainly feel the Reds’ pain. On May 29, they were shut down by Halladay, who tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history that day.

In their history, the Marlins have gone to the postseason twice, and in each year captured the World Series title.

While no Marlin has ever tossed a no-hitter in the playoffs, there have been a few masterful pitching performances.

Florida’s most memorable complete game shutout in the playoffs was turned in by Josh Beckett, when he closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckett allowed five hits in a 2-0 victory that day, on his way to winning MVP honors. But an argument can be made that it wasn’t Beckett’s best playoff performance of that season.

In the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, Florida was trailing 3-1 in games heading into Game 5 in Miami. Beckett tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. That performance set the stage for the Marlins to return to Chicago, where they took care of the Cubs in Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field.

The Marlins have had four complete games in their playoff history. Livan Hernandez striking out 15 Braves in the 1997 NLCS also remains one of the top pitching performances ever by a Marlin.

Postseason Marlins’ complete games:

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/03: 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, vs Cubs, NLCS
* Josh Beckett, 10/25/02: 5 hits, 0 runs, 9 strikeouts, vs Yankees, WS
* Kevin Brown, 10/14/97: 11 hits, 4 runs, 8 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
* Livan Hernandez, 10/12/97: 3 hits, 1 run, 15 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS

— Joe Frisaro

J.J.'s quest for win No. 16


Photo courtesy of Robert Vigon/Florida Marlins

If Josh Johnson beats the Phillies on Tuesday in Game 1 of the double-header at Land Shark Stadium, the Marlins ace would join some elite company in club history.

Johnson is seeking to become the third Marlin since 2000 to eclipse the 15-win mark in a season. The 25-year-old is 15-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 30 starts.

The only Marlins to surpass 15 wins in the decade are Dontrelle Willis, who set the club record with 22 wins in 2005, and Carl Pavano — a winner of 18 games in 2004.

You have to go back to 1996-97 to find Marlins who finished with 16 or more wins. Alex Fernandez (1997) and Kevin Brown (1996) each had 17 wins in those respective seasons. Brown in 1997 won 16, while Al Leiter was a 16-game winner in 1996.

Last year, Ricky Nolasco finished with 15 wins. Josh Beckett (2005) and Ryan Dempster (2001) were the only other 15-game winners in franchise history.

Tuesday’s start also will have some financial implications for Johnson. It will be his 31st of the season, which means he will trigger a $25,000 incentive in his contract. Counting Tuesday, Johnson is slated to have three more starts this season. If he makes them all, he would earn another $25,000 in incentives for reaching 33.

— Joe Frisaro