Drew Smyly's Near Perfect Day, Quiet Run of Excellence, and More

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Drew Smyly’s Near Perfect Day, Quiet Run of Excellence, and More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs came as close to a perfect game as they have in 30 years yesterday (and the first in baseball in over a decade), thanks primarily to Drew Smyly’s outstanding performance, though I’m sure even hit would tip his cap to the defense behind him. Most plays were routine – he wasn’t giving up rockets – but at least a couple (the first two of the game, actually) easily could’ve been hits off the bat. So, kudos all around, though obviously the biggest applause goes to Smyly.

  • Ultimately, Smyly threw 7.2 innings, allowing just the one nothing-of-a-hit, no walks, and striking out 10. He got 18 whiffs, and the average exit velocity on his batted balls was a comically low 76.7 mph. By game score, it was a 95, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a 95. For context, Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter in Cincinnati, which was seven years ago to the day of Smyly’s outing, was a 91.
  • Smyly, whose start was one of the best of his career, didn’t even think he had all that great of stuff on the day.
  • That was famously what Kerry Wood said about his warmup for the 20K game. He was abysmal warming up, but obviously you know what happened after that.
  • Oh, by the way? The Cubs say that Smyly was only the second Cubs pitcher to go at least 7.2 innings of no-run, one-hit ball, without issuing a walk while striking out at least 10 … the other being The Kerry Wood Game.
  • The crowd at Wrigley Field started REALLY getting into what was happening in the 6th inning (that’s when it is appropriate, for the record), and Smyly said at one point in the 7th inning it got so loud he couldn’t even hear his PitchCom device.
  • I don’t think there was much question about this in the moment, at least not in the 8th inning when Smyly was still under 100 pitches:
  • I was surprised that Smyly still faced another couple hitters after losing the perfecto and going over 100, though.
  • If you missed Yan Gomes having some fun after the game:
  • The Cubs are 10-1 so far this year when Gomes starts, by the way.
  • Going all the way back to mid-July of last year, Drew Smyly has a 2.87 ERA over his last 16 starts – and that INCLUDES 3 disaster outings that account for 18 of his 27 total earned runs over that stretch. So basically he’s had 13 stellar outings and 3 clunkers. Super take it.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.