Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cole hamels cubsAnother morning of shaking it off, eh?

In the aggregate, I feel worse about the two losses of the last two days than I do about the no-hit streak coming to an end. It was always a fun aside (and I loved the no-hit streak Twitter account), but it’s not like I derived a great deal of fan-related pleasure from the Cubs not having been no-hit in 50 years. Streaks don’t last forever, and, hey, we got to see something historic (well, most of us, anyway).

Like it or lump it, yesterday’s game was a really, really big deal for a lot of reasons, so it dominates the Bullets today …

  • No, Cole Hamels’ trade value did not increase by no-hitting the Cubs any more than it decreased by him getting smacked around the two starts before. Is he healthy? Does the stuff look normal? Do the mechanics look typical of him? That’s it when it comes to a guy with his track record. Perhaps, if you’re an interested team, you needed to see him look good (which is “normal” for him) one last time before pulling the trigger on a deal – in that respect, I suppose you could technically say yesterday’s outing changed things. But to say Hamels’ value increased because he threw a no-hitter or even because he had one solitary dominant outing (against a struggling offense on a day with the wind blowing in) … that would be a mistake. On a wind-neutral day, Hamels gives up two or three homers. And, what, suddenly you’re not interested in trading for him?

  • For me, though, the small question I have is whether the near 130 pitches it took to get the no-hitter make you concerned at all. Maybe it was just Johan Santana sticking out in my head, but it feels like you see guys throw a ton of pitches in one of these special starts, and then they aren’t quite the same thereafter, at least for the rest of the year. Then again, it wasn’t a particularly stressful day for Hamels, who was cruising the entire game.
  • Speaking of that: crazy that, on a day when he gave up no hits and just two walks, the Cubs still forced Hamels to throw so many pitches. I know it doesn’t mean much for now, but at least it’s something the Cubs’ offense still does well. (Negative Nancy retort: it takes a lot of pitches to strike so many guys out.)
  • Lotta folks asking whether Kris Bryant’s fly ball to end the game would have been scored a hit or an error if it had dropped – it’s a fun thought exercise, and it would have been a brutal decision for the scorekeeper. I’m sure there was a lot of relief there that the guy just caught the ball. For me, just based on the play, I probably would have gone with error.

  • Unsurprising Cubs reaction to Hamels’ outing: dude was good ( No-hitters are a flukey thing, but you can’t argue that part. Hamels looked really, really good.
  • It was a discussion point on Twitter during the game – it always is – but, for those wondering: yes, Hamels did get a few calls outside the strike zone, but it wasn’t all that uneven throughout the game, and, in total, it was a well-called strike zone. There was only one egregiously bad call, which came late in the game, way down out of the zone … against Jorge Soler. Naturally. In the end, I think it seemed like Hamels was getting such a large zone because he was commanding the ball so well – he was all along the border of the strike zone all day long.
  • Here’s Hamels discussing the no-no after the game:

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