Results tagged ‘ no-hitter ’
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Even with the increasing number of no-hitters thrown over the past few seasons, getting 27 batters to record outs without surrendering a hit is still an incredible feat. On Wednesday, the Cubs officially acquired starter Edwin Jackson, who joins teammate Matt Garza as members of the no-hit club.
Jackson, whose heater routinely reaches into the mid-90s, has no-hit stuff every time he steps on the mound, but his June 25, 2010, interleague matchup with the Rays didn’t have the makings of a dominant outing. Instead the game became a nine-inning, grind-it-out affair—and a statistical anomaly—for the Diamondbacks pitcher, who improved as the game went along.
The then-26-year-old’s first inning resulted in a pair of walks, a wild pitch and 27 pitches thrown, but the host Rays left runners stranded at the corners. Jackson was only slightly better in the second inning, allowing two walks on 21 pitches and stranding runners on first and second. Fortunately in the top half of that inning, Adam LaRoche hit a solo home run on a line drive to right to give Arizona a 1-0 lead, which would prove to be the game’s final score.
The bottom of the third kicked off with a trio of walks to load the bases. But Jackson got out of the jam by inducing a shallow flyout and a pair of groundouts. Through his first three innings, he’d given up seven walks and thrown 72 pitches. But despite his rough start, Jackson would settle down for the remainder of the game.
He cruised through the fourth and fifth, retiring the side in order. Though he hit B.J. Upton in the sixth, Jackson went 1-2-3 in the seventh and got out of the eighth without surrendering a hit despite an error from third baseman Stephen Drew. Jackson struck out leadoff man Upton to start the ninth, and got Hank Blalock to fly out to left. After Willy Aybar reached on a walk, Jackson forced Jason Bartlett to ground out to short, ending the game and touching off a Diamondbacks celebration.
The righty’s final line read: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 6 K, 8 BB, 149 pitches thrown (only 79 for strikes).
“It’s one of the crazier games that I’ve had this year, especially starting out like it did—not being able to find the strike zone with the fastball. Good thing I could throw the slider for strikes at any count,” Jackson told Adam Berry of MLB.com at the time. “That just saved me and resurrected my game, to even be able to have a chance to do what I did tonight is crazy.”
While Jackson’s efforts were far from perfect—and it might not have been the most dominant no-no of all time—he entered the record books with the D-backs second no-hitter in franchise history.
Players and fans of the Peoria Chiefs, the Chicago Cubs’ Class A affiliate, had more to celebrate on the Fourth of July than the country’s birthday—left-hander Austin Kirk pitched the eighth no-hitter in Chiefs franchise history in a 2-0 win over the Clinton LumberKings.
The 21-year-old struck out 10 and walked only two on his way to the first complete-game no-no for the Chiefs since 1988.
Here’s what our Minor League Prospectus, issued every February in Vine Line, had to say about Kirk in 2010:
“Polite to a fault, scouts love Kirk’s makeup but love his upside even more. His heavy fastball sits in the 88-91 range, and he pairs it with an above-average change-up. His curve also has potential. Kirk has a strong, durable frame with good strength in his legs and core. His fastball is explosive, and he locates it well at the bottom of the zone.”
Besides making an impact on the mound, Kirk already proved to be a winning personality off the field—even before the Cubs selected him in the third round of the 2009 draft. That same summer, when Kirk’s high school baseball team, the Owasso (Okla.) Rams, was making a run for the 6A state championship, Kirk and several teammates visited Odis McCormick, a longtime fan that had become too sick to attend games. Kirk and his teammates presented McCormick with one of Kirk’s old jerseys and a ball signed by the whole team. (more…)
It was another jam-packed Cubs Convention weekend — meeting readers at the Vine Line booth in the exhibition hall, hosting sessions on online media and the farm system, and volunteering in the batting cages to demonstrate wheelchair softball with the RIC Cubs — and another great opportunity to get a pulse of the Chicago Cubs and our fanbase. Thanks to everyone who said hi and made it another special weekend!
In the midst of all that, I had the opportunity to listen to Saturday afternoon’s presentation on Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter. Len Kasper moderated the discussion with Big Z and Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
One thing struck me most: After seeing the session with the 1984 Cubs earlier in the day, I realized that 25 years later, Big Z’s no-hitter now might be the defining moment for a new generation of Cubs fans. During the Q&A, several fans were on the verge of tears and relayed their stories of watching the game on TV or traveling on a whim to Milwaukee. The Carlos Zambrano no-hitter Vine Line cover received the most comments at our booth.
We all hope that Z’s no-no is not the peak of this Cubs era, but it is nice to see a new narrative that can sit alongside 1984 and 1969 at future Cubs Conventions.
Other notes from the session:
? Big Z was asked about keepsakes he had from the game. He replied, “My uniform, glove, shoes … I will have those in my house probably until I die.”
? There was an extensive discussion of how bullpen warm-ups translate to the game. Carlos had said that he felt great in the bullpen and that, when he heard the game would be played in Milwaukee, he knew the fans would make it feel like a home game. Larry said that he had really great, heavy stuff warming up. But both said that doesn’t necessarily translate into a good start …
Rothschild: “Sometimes, guys think they have good enough stuff if they throw well in the bullpen, so they don’t turn it up a level in the game.”
Zambrano: “One day against Milwaukee, I was throwing 120 [mph] in the bullpen. [Everyone laughs.] Seriously. I was throwing my fastball nice and easy, and it was going, ‘HAHH! HAHH!’ And it was the shortest outing of my career. [Laughs.]”
? Len, who of course did a phenomenal job moderating the session, became the sideshow when one fan berated him for uttering the phrase “no-hitter” when exiting a late inning. Saying she has been watching games since 1945, she pleaded with him never to utter the phrase during an active one again. Larry agreed and was pleased to get some support on the point, as he and Len have been going back and forth on the idea of jinxing a no-hitter. Len tried to defend himself by saying, “Well, he threw it, didn’t he??”
? But the funniest moment came when a fan asked if Carlos was hoping to bat in the top of the ninth or if he wanted to be rested going into the last three outs. Carlos’ reply? “What do you think?”
— Sean Ahmed
Another electric atmosphere last night, something we’ve all been used to at Wrigley Field this season.
Accounting for resting starters down the stretch, what do you think these games against postseason contenders tell us? Some of us were discussing earlier how seeing CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets on consecutive days could be the type of challenges we face the rest of the year.
Right-hander Ben Sheets (13-8, 2.97) takes the hill for Milwaukee.
WGN-TV will be replaying Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter Friday night at 10 p.m. Central time. Start those DVR’s!
In 1972, the Cubs were never really in it. Chicago came close midway through June, closing within 2.0 games of the Pirates, but after that steadily fell out of contention to finish 11.0 games behind Pittsburgh by years end. However, the pennant race was not the exciting part of the ’72 season – it was the two no-hitters thrown by Cubs pitchers Burt Hooton and Milt Pappas.
The 22-year-old Hooton was the Cubs first-round draft pick the year before and actually pitched in three games, earning two wins the same year. The Cubs had high hopes for the rookie, naming him their No. 2 prior to the season.
Hooton’s no-hitter came on the second game of the season against the Phillies at Wrigley Field to a small crowd of 9,583. The Texas native was far from perfect that day, walking seven, including two in the top of the seventh. However, Hooton got through it by striking out Denny Doyle, one of seven on the day. The no-no was topped off in less dramatic form when Hooton got Willie Montanez to ground out to second, Deron Johnson to strikeout and got Greg Luzinski to followed suite, ending the game in a 4-0 win.
At the time, no-hitters had become somewhat of the norm for the Cubs as Ken Holtzman did it twice in the two years prior. After 1972, however, Chicago would have to wait until Sunday for Carlos Zambrano to accomplish the feat – 36 years and 12 days later.
The second no-hitter of 1972 came Sept. 2, in a near-perfect game thrown by Pappas. Cubs fans got to see another no-hitter at Wrigley, this time to a slightly better attendance of 11,144. Pappas was dominant all night, striking out six, while forcing 12 ground balls.
This game is one of the most disputed no-hitters of all time, not because of an error that could have gone either way, but because of home plate umpire Bruce Froemming’s ball call to walk San Diego’s Larry Stahl with two outs in the top of the ninth. Froemming later said that he did not realize it was a perfect game until after the call was made.
The 1972 season might not have been most memorable year in terms of the standings, but for two days at Wrigley Field, two Cubs pitchers, one toeing on the line of perfection, threw what only 10 other Cubs players have ever done-a no-hitter.
Many of us are going to remember where we were during Carlos Zambrano’s
no-hitter tonight. I’ve heard from a few people who had thought about
driving to the rescheduled game but didn’t. Another was stuck on a
train without anything but my updates. It was amazing — but not
entirely surprising — to hear that over 23,000 fans bought tickets for
a game announced 24 hours ago.
But for me, this game was a year in the making.
See, Carlos calls me “Justin” for my resemblance to Detroit Tigers
pitcher Justin Verlander. Carlos has the first locker in the Wrigley
Field home clubhouse, and one of the first times I walked into the Cubs
clubhouse last season, he said to Larry Rothschild, “Did we get
He wasn’t really talking to me, but I told him I knew he was talking
about me and said that I could actually pass for it if I were about a
foot taller. Our inside joke was born.
The day after Verlander threw a no-hitter June 12, 2007, against the
Brewers, I ran into Carlos in the Cubs dugout, and he congratulated me
on the accomplishment. I asked him what he thought of “my” pitching,
and he responded, “Oh, real good. Shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo,” while
signaling pitch movement in all four directions.
Four days later, Big Z almost had his own. I still remember the
emotional rollercoaster I went through sitting behind home plate at the
June 16, 2007, game against the Padres. He had allowed no hits through
7.1 innings, and I already was thinking about what I’d say to him if he
pulled it off.
But Marcus Giles hit a weak grounder up the middle that just squeaked
by Big Z himself, and Carlos ended up allowing the game’s only run on a
leadoff homer in the ninth to lose. I kept my mouth shut.
Tonight, however, Carlos answered several doubts that had arisen over
the last month. Coming off 12 days of rest, he had velocity, movement,
command, composure and endurance. The Cubs now sit 7.5 games ahead of
the Brewers, who have also fallen into a tie with the Phillies for the
wild card. That puts the Cubs’ magic number at seven games, giving them
the opportunity to clinch the division at home.
Carlos’ performance might have gotten the Cubs just one win closer to
the postseason, but I think it matters a lot more than that to him, the
team and Cubs fans.
So, Big Z, I had my moment. Congrats on getting yours.
Some 24,000 lucky fans got to see Carlos Zambrano throw a no-hitter in the emergency game in Milwaukee tonight.
It’s the Cubs’ first no-hitter since Milt Pappas did it in the near-perfect game against the Padres 36 years ago.
Leave your comments on Carlos’ incredible performance below.