You've probably watched it a dozen times already. But who cares. How about one more?
With the entire baseball world watching, with the pressure of the trade deadline upon his shoulders, and with the knowledge that Saturday's start against the Cubs in Chicago could have been his last in a Phillies uniform, Cole Hamels went out and did the unthinkable.
Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter. It really happened.
Hamels' gem comes at a very strange time for the Phils' ace left-hander, as he has been at the center of trade talks for the better part of the last 13 months. And it is widely believed that Cole's outing on Saturday could have been his last with the team.
If it was his swan song with Philadelphia, what a tune it was.
It was the first time in a half century that the Cubs had been no-hit, and it was the first time it was done in Wrigley Field since 1972. Hamels faced 29 batters Saturday and gave up no hits. In the two outings prior to this one, he had also faced 29 batters, and given up 16 hits.
And for the record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, no pitcher has ever thrown a no-hitter and then been traded to another team mid-season. So if Hamels is dealt before his next scheduled start on Thursday, the day before the trade deadline, it would be a first in MLB history.
So just how good was Cole's outing against the Cubs on Saturday? Since 1914, only 10 no-hitters had a better Game Score (a formula that takes into account innings pitched, hits, walks, runs allowed, and hits allowed and comes up with a score for that game) than Hamels' no-no in Chicago (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference).
Next, here is where Hamels' no-hitter ranks among no-hitters thrown by Phillies pitchers since 1914 (four of the team's no-hitters occurred before 1914 when data to compile Game Score was not available, and one was the combined team no-hitter last year against Atlanta).
Hamels' no-hitter is tied for the best Game Score among Phils' no-hitters with Halladay's perfect-o against the Marlins back in 2010.
Next, where did it rank among the greatest single-game pitching performances in team history?
As you can see, Hamels' performance Saturday was tied with Halladay's perfect game in 2010 and a one-hitter thrown by Steve Carlton in 1972 in which he struck out 14 and walked one.
And finally, here is where Cole's start ranked among Major League efforts so far this year.
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Only Max Scherzer's 16-strikeout, no-walk one-hitter in June had a higher Game Score (100) than Hamels' no-no Saturday, and it was tied with other no-hitters thrown by San Francisco's Chris Heston and Cleveland's Corey Kluber.
In other words, what we saw on Saturday was pretty doggone special.
Of course, this should put to rest any concern over his recent struggles heading into Saturday, in which he had lasted just 6 1/3 innings and given up 14 earned runs on 20 hits for an ERA of 19.89. And over his last seven starts before his no-hitter, he had an ERA of 6.10.
And while no one should have been going into Saturday looking at this start as a referendum on Cole and his trade deadline value...
One exec on Cole Hamels' start tomorrow: "He's pitched in playoffs & WS. But for that front office this may be biggest start he’s ever had"— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 24, 2015
...those dumb enough to operate that way are probably worried the price will go up. One of the teams in hottest pursuit of Cole, the Cubs, got an up close and personal look at just how good the left-hander can be.
Maddon, on Hamels: "He definitely increased his value ... You're going to get that higher tier prospect because of that performance today."— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 26, 2015
Hey there, Kyle Schwarber, how ya doin'?
If this was Hamels' last start in a Phillies uniform, it was a magical goodbye to one of the greatest pitchers to ever put on a Phillies uniform. And it was also one of the most dominant performances in both Phillies, and Major League Baseball history.