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Was Cole Hamels' no-hitter the greatest performance in Phillies history?

Putting Cole's no-hitter against the Cubs into historical perspective.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

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).

Rank Player Date Team Game Score SO BB
1 Clayton Kershaw 6/18/2014 Dodgers 102 15 0
2 Matt Cain 6/13/2012 Giants 101 14 0
2 Nolan Ryan 5/1/1991 Rangers 101 16 2
2 Sandy Koufax 9/9/1965 Dodgers 101 14 0
5 Randy Johnson 5/18/2004 Diamondbacks 100 13 0
5 Nolan Ryan 7/15/1973 Angels 100 17 4
5 Warren Spahn 9/16/1960 Braves 100 15 2
8 Felix Hernandez 8/15/2012 Mariners 99 12 0
8 Nolan Ryan 6/11/1990 Rangers 99 14 2
8 Don Wilson 6/18/1967 Astros 99 15 3
11 Cole Hamels 7/25/2015 Phillies 98 13 2

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).

Rank Player Date Opponent Game Score SO BB
1 Cole Hamels 7/25/2015 Cubs 98 13 2
1 Roy Halladay 5/29/2010 Marlins 98 11 0
3 Jim Bunning 6/21/1964 Mets 97 10 0
4 Terry Mulholland 8/15/1990 Giants 95 8 0
5 Roy Halladay 10/6/2010 Reds 94 8 1
5 Kevin Millwood 4/27/2003 Giants 94 10 3
7 Tommy Greene 5/23/1991 Expos 90 10 7
8 Rick Wise 6/23/1971 Reds 89 3 1

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?

Rank Player Date Opponent Game Score H SO BB
1 Cole Hamels 7/25/2015 Cubs 98 0 13 2
1 Roy Halladay 5/29/2010 Marlins 98 0 11 0
1 Steve Carlton 4/25/1972 Giants 98 1 14 1
4 Jim Bunning 6/21/1964 Mets 97 0 10 0
5 Curt Schilling 8/21/1996 Dodgers 95 2 12 0
5 Terry Mulholland 8/15/1990 Giants 95 0 8 0
5 Art Mahaffey 4/23/1961 Cubs 95 4 17 1
5 Curt Simmons 5/16/1953 Braves 95 1 10 0
8 Kevin Millwood 4/27/2003 Giants 94 0 10 3
8 Steve Carlton 7/4/1979 Mets 94 1 9 0
8 Pete Alexander 9/19/1914 Cardinals 94 2 11 0

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.

Rank Player Date Team Game Score IP H SO BB
1 Max Scherzer 6/14/2015 Nationals 100 9 1 16 0
2 Cole Hamels 7/25/2015 Phillies 98 9 0 13 2
2 Chris Heston 6/9/2015 Giants 98 9 0 11 0
2 Corey Kluber 5/13/2015 Indians 98 8 1 18 0
5 Max Scherzer 6/20/2015 Nationals 97 9 0 10 0
6 Johnny Cueto 7/7/2015 Reds 93 9 2 11 1
7 Clayton Kershaw 7/23/2015 Dodgers 92 9 3 11 0
7 Chris Sale 6/19/2015 White Sox 92 8 2 14 0
9 Jacob deGrom 5/21/2015 Mets 91 8 1 11 0

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...

...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.

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.