After Craig Kimbrel struck out pinch-hitter Will Smith to finish the sport, the Chicago Cubs’ closer was curious why catcher Willson Contreras celebrated with a bigger-than-usual fist pump. Fellow reliever Ryan Tepera then ran onto the sector at Dodger Stadium and whispered in Kimbrel’s ear: “You haven’t any idea what happened.” The Cubs’ fearsome bullpen had just teamed up with starter Zach Davies for the primary combined no-hitter in franchise history — and none of the three relievers who followed Davies onto the mound had any idea they were pitching their way into history until after they finished.
The four Cubs combined for the seventh no-hitter within the majors this year, matching the foremost during a season since 1900, as Chicago blanked the l. a. Dodgers 4-0 Thursday night. The Dodgers drew eight walks, accessing at least one from each opposing pitcher, but managed no other baserunners. the strain was palpable within the Cubs’ dugout, where Davies watched with trepidation after reluctantly believing manager David Ross’s decision to tug him for a pinch-hitter after 94 pitches. Davies (5-4) issued five walks while scrapping through six spotless innings against the defending World Series champions.
“I think every pitcher wants to continue within the game, no matter his pitch count, but it worked,” Davies said. “Chafe, Tep, and Craig shut the door. a neighborhood of history. I’m excited for the blokes that were in the sector. I can’t complain in the least .” But incredibly, the relievers remained blissfully oblivious to the stakes as Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Kimbrel visited the mound and preserved a zero they couldn’t see, because of the position of the Dodger Stadium bullpen. “The whole bullpen had no idea,” said Chafin, who pitched the eighth. “It was completely oblivious. But in our defense, therein bullpen, from our perspective on the sector, all we will see is batting averages and therefore the count, stuff like that. We can’t see the scoreboard with the hits.”
Tepera and Chafin each walked a batter during their inning on the mound, but l. a. couldn’t capitalize. Kimbrel then walked Chris Taylor leading astray the ninth, but the ferocious closer struck out Cody Bellinger, Albert Pujols, and Smith to end the Cubs’ 17th no-hitter since 1880. “I think all of them needed to urge an enter, just to form my pulse go up a touch bit,” Ross said. “You get to the ninth, I don’t know I’ve been as nervous for a while with a 4-0 lead and Craig Kimbrel on the mound as I used to be tonight.” Javier Báez homered within the first inning and Contreras added a two-run shot within the sixth for the Cubs, who happily celebrated the franchise’s first no-hitter since last Sept. 13, when Alec Mills blanked Milwaukee.
Contreras was the constant within the combined no-no, and every four pitchers praised his work behind the plate. “From catching this team since 2016, I’ve been catching tons of shutout games, but nothing on the brink of a no-hitter,” said Contreras, who was visibly emotional afterward. “Tonight was one among those nights that are super special in my life, one which will be hard to forget. “I didn’t realize that we had a no-hitter happening until the sixth, and from the seventh on, my heart would just race and race. I used to be trying to slow the sport down, to place the proper finger down, to call the proper pitch.” The seventh no-hitter of this highly unusual season — the foremost in baseball history before Dominion Day — was the primary since May 19. The Boston Red Sox also took a bid for a combined no-hitter into the eighth inning earlier Thursday, but lost the no-no and therefore the game at Tampa Bay.
“This is an awesome moment,” Davies said. “The World Series, I feel something like that probably tops it. But albeit it had been solo and it was a combined effort, being a neighborhood of history are some things special.” With this no-hitter — the 312th in baseball history — 2021 matches 1990, 1991, 2012, and 2015 for the foremost during a single MLB season since 1900. That’s one shy of the record eight in 1884, the primary season overhand pitching was allowed. The other no-hitters this year were thrown by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (April 9), Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox (April 14), Baltimore’s John Means (May 5), Cincinnati’s Wade Miley (May 7), Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull (May 18) and therefore the ny Yankees’ Corey Kluber (May 19).
In addition, Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning hitless game during a doubleheader on April 25 that’s not recognized as a no-hitter by big-league Baseball. The Cubs actually did something that’s been much harder than throwing a no-hitter over the past two seasons: They beat Walker Buehler, who hadn’t lost in 23 straight regular-season starts. Buehler (7-1) took his first loss since Sept. 21, 2019, for the Dodgers despite throwing six innings of five-hit ball. Buehler made it through six innings for the 17th straight start but lost his streak of 30 straight games overall without a defeat. “Two really bad pitches to 2 specialized hitters, and that they took advantage of them,” Buehler said. “Just can’t leave fastballs within the middle like that.”
The Dodgers hadn’t been no-hit since Aug. 30, 2015, once they were blanked in Chavez Ravine by the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta — who is scheduled to pitch for Chicago on Friday night. it had been the Dodgers’ 20th no-hit loss, the foremost in big league history. “When something like this happens, you would like it to sting a touch bit,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It stings me.” Davies bounced back sharply after yielding a career-high eight runs in his last start against Miami. Those eight runs matched the amount he had allowed in his previous six starts combined, and he regained his excellent form at Dodger Stadium.
Davies walked two batters within the first before getting Pujols to ground out. He walked the leadoff batter within the third and fourth but avoided the other trouble. The fifth inning was his first 1-2-3 frame. The Dodgers probably got closest to success within the first inning when Taylor’s liner to center was caught by Rafael Ortega. Davies has never thrown an entire game in his seven-year big league career, which began with five seasons in Milwaukee before a stop in San Diego last year. Tepera, Chicago’s busiest reliever, walked Gavin Lux with two outs within the seventh, but Austin Barnes lined bent second.
Chafin walked Mookie Betts with one out, but Max Muncy hit a grounder right to first sacker Anthony Rizzo, who stepped on the bag and threw to second for a simple baseball play . The previously combined no-hitter within the majors was Aug. 3, 2019, when Aaron Sanchez and three Houston relievers blanked Seattle 9-0. Buehler took a no-hitter into the eighth inning last Saturday in Arizona, where he tied the Dodgers record for consecutive regular-season starts without a loss. He made it through six innings Thursday for the 15th time this season, but he still has never beaten the Cubs.
Báez followed his 17th homer by cupping his hand to his ear as he returned to the Chicago dugout, getting a loud chorus of jeers alongside cheers from the Cubs’ sizable fan contingent in l. a. . Buehler recovered and stayed out of trouble until the sixth when Contreras took him deep. Chicago added another run within the seventh when Jason Heyward singled and scored on one by pinch-hitter Jake Marisnick, who was hitting for Davies.