It's a Labor Day no-hitter. The first combined no-hitter in 132 years of Phillies baseball.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 1, 2014
Even in this long, stupid season, we got to witness something cool. What happened today was really cool.
Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon, who are the four best pitchers on the Phillies (in both the starter and reliever categories), combined to throw a no-hitter today. They beat the Braves 7-0 and it was weird, as most no-hitters are.
Cole Hamels started the game, and it was clear from the get-go that he didn't have his best stuff. He walked the first two hitters he faced, and while he was getting the next three hitters out, lead-off batter Jason Heyward stole second and third. In the bottom of the second, Hamels hit Phil Gosselin, who went to Malvern Prep, but probably isn't related to Jon Gosselin of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" fame. Heyward would walk a second time in the third inning, and steal yet another base. At this early point in the game, no one was thinking no-hitter. All I was thinking was "How has Hamels not given up any runs so far? How?" The 1-0 score and the as-yet-unrealized no-hitter were in jeopardy when Chris Johnson hit a fast-sinking bloop to right field, but for Marlon Byrd, it ain't no thang.
After that third inning scare, Hamels threw two 1-2-3 innings, until he walked Freddie Freeman to start the sixth inning. With 108 pitches under his belt and his no-hitter intact, Hamels was pulled after six innings, looking happy as happy could be. His final line: six innings, zero hits, five walks, one hit batter, seven strikeouts, 108 pitches.
And if you were pulling your unqualified ace out of his no-hitter after six innings, what three pitchers would you want to finish it? You'd want the holy trinity of Phillies relievers: Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon. Sandberg might be bad at his job, but he's not stupid.
The three of them did not disappoint. They tossed three perfect innings in support of Hamels. No hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. Three of them were from Ken Giles, who at this point should be everyone's favorite non-Hamels pitcher. Guy is mowing hitters down with authority, which is super sexy. I mean fun. It's fun and exciting.
Games of 3K's or more in relief with the Phillies: Ken Giles (7 in 34 appearances) Jonathan Papelbon (6 in 189) Brad Lidge (10 in 214)— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) September 1, 2014
Yeah, I was right the first time. Dead sexy.
And I can't leave the offense out of this. Today was a great day for Jimmy Rollins and Ben Revere. Rollins went 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, and a RBI. We all, as a fanbase, need to appreciate Jimmy Rollins more. Offense and defense. With a good shortstop like Jimmy Rollins, so many more plays are just "routine". Two pickups from deep short followed by gorgeous, arcing throws that are right on the money? That's Jimmy Rollins, and we should all appreciate him. And Ben Revere, well he continues to be a madman at the plate, going 2-for-3 with FIVE RBI. FIVE. Coming into today, Revere had 15 RBI. He picked up a quarter of his RBI total just today! That's Ben Revere for you! He's a weird, crazy, ridiculous, baffling, fun, exciting baseball player.
Domonic Brown reached on an error today (from defensive golden boy Andrelton Simmons, no less) and stole a base. Ryan Howard drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth. Chase Utley drew two walks today (though one was intentional), as did Cody Asche. Asche also hit a double. Hamels helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt, and a lead-off single in the sixth. Not too shabby.
Of note: Chase Utley was pulled in the top of the ninth inning for pinch hitter Freddy Galvis. I do not know why this happened. Either Utley was injured (NOOOOO) or Ryne Sandberg is terribly bad at his job.
Today was fun. It was the kind of fun that only combined no-hitters can bring. There's nothing on the line, really. A combined no-hitter is great, but not momentous in the same way a regular no-hitter is. If Diek, Giles, or Pap had gotten a hit, we would have shrugged our shoulders and moved on. But they didn't, and it was a much needed ray of sunshine on the steaming pile of garbage that has been the 2014 season.
Instead of the fangraph, today I'll leave you with these delightful post-no-no tweets. Only in 2014, kids.
Phillies clubhouse rocking w The Eagles' Heartache Tonight— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) September 1, 2014
Haha, suck it, Braves! You're not making the playoffs either, AND you just got no-hit by the Phillies! Suck it times a million!
Phillies toasted with five bottles of champagne, one for every pitcher and Carlos Ruiz.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 1, 2014
BECAUSE CHOOCH IS AWESOME. He's just the absolute best. Do you need proof? Here:
Carlos Ruiz is the first player in #Phillies history to catch three different no-hitters.— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) September 1, 2014