He had struggled mightily in his last two starts, while allowing 20 hits and 14 runs in only 6 1/3 innings. The Major League Baseball trade deadline is only six days away, so the stories and rumors were circulating which claimed he was hurting his trade value with his poor outings.
There was a lot on the line yesterday in Chicago, when Phillies ace Cole Hamels answered his critics with a masterpiece, which was only two walks away from being a perfect game. Ironically, it may have been the last start of his career as a Phillie. If the Phillies front office do their jobs, they may be able to use to amazing accomplishment to acquire some outstanding prospects for their organization in the future.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon believes the performance by the left-hander will help the Phillies secure more in a trade deal for Hamels in the next few days.
“He definitely increased his value, I would imagine,” Maddon said following the game. “You’re going to get that higher-tier prospect because of that performance today.”
I know he was being honest, but I didn’t think it was the most brilliant thing to say by the manager of the Cubs, who are one of the teams, which could be in pursuit of Hamels.
The left-hander had some of his best stuff of the season with his fastball in the 93 to 94 mile an hour area. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he thought Hamels’ curveball was as good as he’s ever seen him throw. He threw a total of 129 pitches to get the job done.
Hollywood, a name Hamels was given by Jimmy Rollins, was dominant throughout the contest while striking out 13 Cubs batters on the day. He completed the 13th no-hitter in Phillies history in dramatic fashion by making a mistake to Chicago rookie phenom Kris Bryant. The youngster hit a shot deep to centerfield, which might have the ending on a day with the wind blowing out, but it was blowing in yesterday and Phillies rookie centerfielder Odubel Herrera was able to make a running circus catch to finish off the Cubs. It was a storybook way to end such an outstanding performance.
This was the third no-hitter of the year in Major League Baseball. It follows earlier no-hitters by San Francisco Giants’ Chris Heston and Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer.
The Cubs hadn’t been no-hit since the Dodgers Hall of Fame southpaw Sandy Koufax did the honor back in 1965 when he threw a perfect game against Chicago.
Hamels got all the support he needed in the third inning when Ryan Howard launched a three-run homer to give the Phils all the runs they needed.