Just six days before baseball's non-waiver trading deadline, Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels showed why he's in so much demand, no-hitting the Chicago Cubs in a 5-0 win on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Hamels walked Dexter Fowler to open the first inning, then retired his next 17 batters faced before walking Fowler again with two outs in the sixth inning.
Cubs catcher David Ross came the closest to ending the no-hit bid with one out in the seventh, launching a ball to the warning track in left center field, but Odubel Herrera tracked it down for the second out of the inning. Herrera also caught the final out of the game, stumbling near the track in center field to track drown a drive by Kris Bryant.
Hamels struck out a season-high 13 and threw a season-high 129 pitches in his first complete game since Aug. 12, 2013.
The Phillies backed Hamels with a three-run home run by Ryan Howard in the third inning off Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. Philadelphia rallied for two more runs in the eighth inning, a frame that featured a double by Hamels.
It was the 13th no-hitter in Phillies history, and the first since since Sept. 1, 2014, when Hamels and three relievers combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves. Hamels was the first Phillies pitcher to complete a regular season no-hitter since Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. Halladay later that season also pitched a no-hitter in the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds.
The last no-hitter at Wrigley Field was thrown by Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas way back on Sept. 2, 1972. The Cubs hadn't been no-hit since Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against them on Sept. 9, 1965.
From Scott Franzke: #Cubs have gone 7,931 games in a row without getting no-hit. Longest streak in baseball— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 25, 2015
There have been 130 single-pitcher no-hitters since the Cubs were last no-hit.— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) July 25, 2015
Hamels is making $22.5 million this season, with matching salaries every year through 2018, plus a $20 million club option for 2019, with a $6 million buyout. He has been one of the most talked about pitchers on the market with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching.
Saturday marked a brilliant turnaround for Hamels, who allowed 14 runs on 20 hits in 6⅓ innings combined in his previous two starts.
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