It was an extremely news-y year for Chicago Cubs starting pitchers. Jon Lester may have thrown his last pitch in a Cubs uniform, Yu Darvish might have won the NL Cy Young award, Kyle Hendricks walked just EIGHT batters despite throwing the 3rd most innings in MLB, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood each concluded their Cubs contracts, and Adbert Alzolay flashed a 2.95 ERA over 4 starts, setting himself up for an expanded role in the rotation for the future.
Oh, yeah, and Alec Mills threw a no-hitter. Remember that?
Remember when Alec Mills pitched a no-hitter? pic.twitter.com/oMKjQeKkOj
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 14, 2020
Well, I do. And so does the Hall of Fame.
According to Jon Shestakofsky (the VP of Communications and Education at the Hall-of-Fame), the cap Mills wore during his no-hitter has arrived in Cooperstown, where it will be enshrined forever. Very, very cool.
Mills is understandably stoked:
Pretty cool! An incredible honor just to have a little something in the same building as all those greats! https://t.co/PHelHOE1My
— Alec Mills (@ATMills37) October 8, 2020
And, hey, credit where credit is due.
Not only did Mills throw a no-hitter this season, he made 11 healthy starts (most of his career), finishing with an exactly league average 4.48 ERA (100 ERA-). Maybe he didn’t strike many guys out – and maybe there are some tricky peripherals/splits baked in there – but he also didn’t walk many guys (7.5%) and largely got the job done when called upon, with several excellent starts sprinkled throughout. When your fifth starters gets average results by the end of the year and hits the height of a no-hitter at his peak, you have something to be thankful for.
Who knows what his future holds in Chicago, but in 2020, Mills threw a no-hitter for a first-place Chicago Cubs baseball team. No one can ever take that away.