Game Ninety-Six – Cubs 0, Phillies 5
WP – Cole Hamels (6-7) LP – Jake Arrieta (11-6) Save – None
Cole Hamels made history Saturday afternoon at the old ballyard. Hamels completed the first no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs since Sandy Koufax’s perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965. The Cubs’ no-hit steak lasted 7,920 games and just short of 50 years to the day it started.
Cole Hamels tossed the first no-hitter at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas on September 2, 1972 and it was the first no-hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley since the Reds’ Jim Maloney on Aug. 19, 1965.
Cole Hamels faced two over the minimum in nine innings. Dexter Fowler was the only Cubs’ player to reach base. Fowler led off the first with a walk and earned a free pass in the sixth inning. On a day with the wind not blowing in, Kris Bryant would have hit two homers off Hamels, one in the first and the other in the ninth.
Phillies’ centerfielder Odubel Herrera made two sensational catches to preserve the no-hitter, the first in the eighth to take a hit away from David Ross and the other on the last play of the game. Herrera dove on the warning track in center to haul in the 27th out of the game.
The Cubs caught Cole Hamels at the wrong time. Hamels needed to quiet the noise after his last two starts and the Cubs offense has been struggling against mediocre pitching. Combine the two and the result is a no-hitter.
Cole Hamels struck out 13 batters on 129 pitches, 83 for strikes, on Saturday afternoon … the 129 pitches is the second most for him in any start in his career. Hamels made 133 pitches on May 11, 2014 against the Mets.
Jake Arrieta was not sharp through the first four innings. Arrieta missed his spots and gave up hard contact for one of the few times this season. Arrieta lost his command with two outs in the third and three batters later the Cubs were in a 3-0 hole. Odubel Herrera doubled and Maikel Franco walked on four pitches. After a passed ball, Ryan Howard cranked a three-run homer to left center.
Before Arrieta could right the ship in the fifth inning he had allowed the most doubles (4) and the most extra basehits (5) in four innings than he had in a single start all season.
Jake Arrieta allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Arrieta threw 94 pitches, 58 for strikes, over six innings.
Travis Wood kept the Phillies off the board in the seventh. James Russell was charged with two runs in the eighth, with both crossing the plate on a bloop double to right and an error by Anthony Rizzo. Neil Ramirez gave up a hit in the ninth.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 51-45 on the season.
Jake Arrieta wasn’t sharp but he was effective through the first two innings. Arrieta needed 33 pitches, 20 for strikes, to complete two innings. Arrieta retired Cole Hamels on a tapper back to the mound and struck out Cesar Hernandez to start the third. Arrieta lost his command at this point.
Odubel Herrera doubled to left on the first pitch. Arrieta issued a four-pitch walk to Maikel Franco. Arrieta did not execute a single pitch during the at bat. A passed ball on the first offering to Ryan Howard put runners on second and third. Howard lifted Arrieta’s next pitch to the gap in left center. The ball carried all the way into the first row of the bleachers. And the Phillies took a 3-0 lead on Howard’s improbable three-run homer.
Carlos Ruiz doubled into the right field corner. Arrieta finally got out of the inning when Cody Asche grounded out to second base.
The Cubs did nothing against Cole Hamels in the third.
At the end of three innings, the Phillies led 3-0 and the Cubs did not have a hit.
While the Cubs were trying to record a hit and spent the afternoon swinging and missing against Cole Hamels, the game went to the eighth with the Phillies leading 3-0 and the Cubs still looking for their first hit.
James Russell replaced Travis Wood for the eighth inning. Addison Russell made an excellent play on a ball smacked up the middle to take a hit away from Carlos Ruiz. Cody Asche singled to center. The Phillies added two runs on a ball hit about 140 feet. Freddy Galvis blooped a 1-2 pitch into shallow right. Addison Russell dove but came up short. The ball rolled away in foul territory. Anthony Rizzo picked it up and fired toward third. No one was there and both Asche and Galvis scored, 5-0 Phillies. Domonic Brown flied out to right.
Cole Hamels doubled and went to third on a single to left by Cesar Hernandez. With runners on the corners and two down, Herrera lined out to left for the third out.
Cole Hamels sat down Starlin Castro (fly out to right) for the first out in the eighth. David Ross appeared to hit his first homer of the season. The wind knocked the ball down and Herrera made an exceptional, change-of-direction catch on the warning track before hitting the dirt. At that point it was obvious, Cole Hamels would get his first no-hitter. Kyle Schwarber batted for James Russell and Hamels stuck out his glove on a ball ticketed for center field … and threw out Schwarber at first to end the inning.
After Neil Ramirez kept the Phillies from adding on in the ninth, the baseball world turned its attention to Cole Hamels.
Addison Russell grounded out to third and Dexter Fowler was called out on strikes. It was up to Kris Bryant and he worked a full count before lifting the sixth pitch of the at bat to deep center. Herrera slipped on the track, and made a diving catch just before the ball hit to end the game.
The Cubs and Phillies conclude the three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Jason Hammel is scheduled to take on rookie right-hander Aaron Nola.