ST. PETERSBURG -- Henderson Alvarez's third complete game shutout of the season Tuesday night put him into some elite Marlins company.
Only four other Marlins pitchers have ever made at least three consecutive starts without giving up a run -- earned or unearned: Chris Hammond (4 in 1994), Javier Vazquez (3 in 2011), Dontrelle Willis (3 between 2003-04) and Pat Rapp (3 in 1995).
Alvarez's string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings ranks sixth in club history for a starting pitcher. He still has a ways to go to set the club record owned by Josh Johnson (31 innings in 2010).
What was arguably the most impressive thing about Alvarez's start Tuesday was how efficient he was. He set a club-record by throwing only 88 pitches in Tuesday's nine-inning complete game shutout. He's now managed to throw fewer than 100 pitches three times in a complete game shutout for the Marlins.
Only two other Marlins are on that list with him: Kevin Brown (98 pitches in his no-hitter against the Giants in 1997) and Dontrelle Willis (97 pitches in a 9-0 win overt the Nationals on April 8, 2005).
Alvarez's three shutouts this season are now tied for the third-most in a single season in Marlins history with Brown (1996). A.J. Burnett (2002) and Willis (2005) each had five in one season.
What makes Alvarez so good and so efficient?
"He's just got a good fastball and it moves and creates a lot of ground balls," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think when he's pounding the zone with his fastball he's able to make guys miss. That's the key. The little bit of trouble he got into [Tuesday] he got out of it whether it's him fielding his position or a perfectly timed double play. He gets a lot of ground balls and doesn't give up a lot of hard contact and that's huge for me."