The Washington Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate made history on Sunday, as four pitchers combined to pitch no-hitters in both ends of a doubleheader. 

Led by a dominant morning outing from right-hander Joan Baez – and no, he does not double as a folk singer – the GCL Nationals tossed seven-inning no-nos against the Gulf Coast League Marlins, winning 4-0 and 1-0 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. 

In the second game, lefty Jared Johnson pitched four scoreless innings, giving up just one walk, and Gilberto Chu tossed three perfect innings in relief. 

Baez struck out seven and walked just one in six innings, before reliever Jose Jimenez struck out one and walked one in the seventh. 

Like many minor league feats, this one featured unique circumstances and an odd collection of fellows tossed together by chance. 

A rainout last week forced Sunday’s doubleheader – and also the too-early start time of 10 a.m.

Baez, 22, was only recently reassigned to the GCL Nationals to work on mechanical adjustments and, to be fair to the Marlins, is more than a year older than the average GCL player. 

But a 5.10 ERA at high Class A Potomac (Va.) forced Baez’s demotion to fill out the rookie league squad. At least on Sunday, he certainly wasn’t sulking about it, rolling through the Marlins’ lineup. Baez signed with the Nationals out of the Dominican Republican, and pitched his way out of the Dominican Summer League as a 19-year-old. His career has foundered since then, but he will certainly have this memory to take forward. 

Johnson, meanwhile, has been a pro barely a month – and could have conceivably slept in his own bed Saturday night. A 17th-round pick in June out of Palm Beach Community College – a six-mile drive from Roger Dean Stadium – Johnson, 21, was pitching in just his seventh professional game, and making just his second second start. 

That explains why he only went four innings – not enough to get the win – before handing off to Chu. 


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