For the seventh time this season, Major League Baseball had a no-hitter. But for the first time, more than one pitcher will get the credit.
Chicago Cubs starter Zach Davies, along with relievers Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.
Davies threw the first six innings, Tepera the seventh, Chafin the eighth and then Kimbrel in the ninth to close out the no-hitter. The Dodgers did draw eight walks in the 4-0 Cubs win.
“I think they all needed to get a walk in, just to make my heart rate go up a little bit,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
“You get to the ninth, I don’t know I’ve been as nervous in a long time with a 4-0 lead and Craig Kimbrel on the mound as I was tonight.”
The season’s seventh no-hitter ties a modern-day MLB record for most in a single season.
The Dodgers hadn’t been no-hit since Aug. 30, 2015, when the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta did it at Dodger Stadium. Arrieta is slated to pitch for the Cubs on Friday night.
“This is an awesome moment,” Davies said. “The World Series, I think something like that probably tops it. But even though it wasn’t solo and it was a combined effort, being a part of history is something special.”
Davies said each of his three relievers claimed they had no idea they were working on a combined no-hitter until after they threw their respective innings.
“I think every pitcher wants to continue in the game, regardless of his pitch count, but it worked,” Davies said. “Chafe, Tep and Craig shut the door. A part of history. I’m excited for the guys that were on the field. I can’t complain at all.”
The Cubs now have 17 no-hitters in franchise history, but this is the team’s first-ever combined no-hitter. Alec Mills had a no-hitter last season for the Cubs against the Milwaukee Brewers, and is scheduled to pitch against the Dodgers on Saturday.
It is not yet July and major league pitchers have thrown an astonishing number of no-hitters, beginning with San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove’s dominance of the Texas Rangers on April 9.
Also throwing no-hitters this season are the Chicago White Sox’s Carlos Rodón (April 14 vs. Indians), Baltimore Orioles’ John Means (May 5 vs. Mariners), Cincinnati Reds’ Wade Miley (May 7 vs. Indians), Detroit Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull (May 18 vs. Mariners) and New York Yankees’ Corey Kluber (May 19 vs. Rangers).
The 2021 season has matched 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most no-hitters in a season since 1900. That’s one shy of the all-time record of eight in 1884, the first season overhand pitching was allowed.
Contributing: The Associated Press.