Fun With the Cubs No-No: First(s) in History, Kimbrel and Chafin Didn’t Even Know, All 27 Outs, More
The Chicago Cubs have now thrown two no-hitters in the last 12 months, which will never not be awesome and memorable, but the context sure is wild, right? You had the Alec Mills, empty ballpark, pandemic no-hitter, which was also just crazy because it was Mills. And now you have a combined no-hitter, the first in Chicago Cubs’ long history, to go with the 16 single-pitcher iterations.
The Cubs are the proof that you can still dominate even in the post-sticky-stuff era, amirite? Because that’s another first for this one – the first no-hitter after the enhanced sticky stuff enforcement. It made for the 7th no-hitter this season, tying the modern era record for no-hitters in a season, which, well, I know folks have mixed feelings on that topic (I do, too).
How about another first, while we’re on it:
The @Cubs threw the first no-hitter where the opposing lineup had 3 former MVPs (Pujols, Betts, Bellinger).
h/t: @WatchMarquee pic.twitter.com/EnhpPw2J3h
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 25, 2021
Zach Davies covered the first six innings of the no-hitter, and there was never really a question about whether he was going to be pulled in a close game in the way he would be normally. That means, right around that time of the game, David Ross is considering when to pull, and when the first two guys reached in the top of the 7th ahead of the pitcher spot, that was that. Davies was already at 94 pitches, had more walks than strikeouts on the night, and it was simply not realistic to think he could safely go another three innings (much less preserve what was then a three-run lead).
Either way, Davies was feeling good after the game (Cubs.com): “This is an awesome moment. I think the World Series, something like that, probably tops it. But even though it wasn’t a solo, it was a combined effort, just being a part of history and something like that is fun for myself, for family members, for friends, and definitely for the guys that came in the game and contributed.”
The man who finished it off pretty clearly didn’t know it was anything other than a typical win, because it took him a REALLY long time to figure out why he was getting mobbed:
Me: There are too many no-hitters, this is a problem!
… Also Me: THERE CAN NEVER BE TOO MANY *CUBS* NO-HITTERS, THIS IS HEAVEN! pic.twitter.com/dAX7NbjV9J
— Bleacher Nation Cubs (@BleacherNation) June 25, 2021
Very Kimbrel mode:
“I’m not gonna lie, I had no idea until the last out.”
Ignorance is bliss! pic.twitter.com/Rr9axfshja
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) June 25, 2021
Turns out Andrew Chafin didn’t know it was a no-no either, even after he’d pitched, left the game, and went into the clubhouse (Cubs.com): “I’m sitting there with a couple of trainers and there was a stat on the bottom of the TV saying something about there’s been six no-hitters already this year,” Chafin said. “I started talking to them about it and then I turned around and they both went looking in the opposite direction. Then I was like, ‘Wait a second, why would they be showing that stat at this point in the game? [Then I said], ‘Oh, [shoot], I might’ve just ruined it for us.’ But yeah, it worked out.”
How perfect is it that, in this year, with all that they’ve done, the Tepera-Chafin-Kimbrel trio get to be part of the first combined no-hitter in Cubs history? I mean, that’s truly perfect. It’s one of those things that you know you’ll remember about the game and the season, in a gathered way. “Duuuude, remember how good Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimrel were that year?! Oh yeah, and remember how they finished off that no-hitter in L.A.?!?!?!”
The ballpark cam view, which gives you the best perspective on a team trying to figure out how best to celebrate a combined no-no. Some guys wanted to go nuts, other guys just wanted a normal post-game celebration:
.@Cubs *hugs* for a combined no-hitter!
🎥 NTT #BallparkCam pic.twitter.com/OF4TiygrWL
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 25, 2021
All 27 outs: