The 2014 baseball season has seen a few no-hitters, and they’ve all been big-time individual accomplishments. But against the Atlanta Braves yesterday, not one, not two, but four (!!) Philadelphia Phillies pitchers combined for one of the weirdest no-nos of this or any season.
Starter Cole Hamels got the game going, pitching six strong innings before getting pulled when his pitch count reached 108. “He was pretty well spent there,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. Jake Diekman took over, followed by Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon, who closed out the game. It was the 11th combined no-hitter in MLB history and the first in Phillies history.
"Most of the time when you see these events, it's one or two people, a great play,” Hamels said. “This really took four outstanding pitchers to go out there, a good game called by Chooch [catcher Carlos Ruiz] and some big plays in the outfield with Marlon [Byrd]. It was a full team effort and I think we all can really enjoy it that much more for what it means and what it means for the organization."
The 2014 season has been one to forget for the Phillies. Philadelphia is 63-74 and 15.5 games behind NL East leader Washington. But the team effort in yesterday’s win gave the players a moment to celebrate and forget how bad things have been. If only for a moment.
"It's definitely been a rough go at it this year for our ballclub,” Papelbon said. “[But this is] something to kind of hang our hat on for the year. Cole has been our bona fide ace for the entire the season, and it's good to preserve those wins for our starters. Today it was preserving a no-hitter."
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