Hayden Wesneski

Hayden Wesneski unaware of Ben Brown's active no-hitter during his relief stint

Wesneski gave up the no-hitter in the eighth inning of Tuesday's Cubs game

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Cubs pitcher Ben Brown pitched a career game on Tuesday, tossing through seven no-hit innings against the Brewers.

The Cubs, to protect Brown's long-term health, decided to pull him after the seventh inning with 93 pitches under his belt. His previous career-high for single-game pitches was 89 tosses, so there was justification for yanking him when they did.

Still, they had an active no-hitter going. Manager Craig Counsell favored Hayden Wesneski out of the bullpen to try and continue the active no-hitter in the eighth inning.

Except, he didn't know there was one going.

Wesneski struck out Joey Ortiz, the first batter he faced. But he allowed the subsequent batter, Sal Frelick, to hit a single on the first pitch he threw. That ended the active no-hitter for the Cubs, but didn't give up the lead.

Wesneski struck out one more batter before Counsell yanked him with two outs in the eighth inning for Mark Leiter Jr., who finished up the inning with another strikeout.

As Rogers reported, Wesneski was unaware of the active no-hitter upon entering the game. With the pressure that adds to a relief stint, Wesneski said he was "glad I didn't know." But it's difficult to believe on the cusp of making collective history Wesneski had no clue about the game situation.

It's crazy to think relief pitchers are unaware of the situation. Their job is to understand what they're walking into to better help grasp the situation for their stint. Maybe it's not entirely important, considering Wesneski entered the inning fresh, without inhaling any active runners or batters. Still, it's a little perplexing.

Of course, relief pitchers have to warm up in the bullpen, which would inevitably take their focus off of the game. But it's hard to believe he was doing much else while waiting in the bullpen. It doesn't seem a far-fetched task to understand the nature of the game.

And remember, collective no-hitters are officially documented and attributed to a team that achieves one. The Cubs' most recent no-hitter, in fact, was a combined effort from Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel against the Dodgers in 2021.

It may not be as special as a single-handed no-hitter, but they still count. That being said, there isn't a pitcher in MLB who enters a game with the mentality of being satisfied with giving up a hit. The goal is to keep the opponents' bats as quiet as possible. Still, I would think there's an extra motivation with a no-hitter on the line.

Either way, Brown finished with an excellent outing under his belt.

The Cubs have used him as both a starter and reliever this season. He's started five games for the Cubs this season while appearing in 12 total.

Brown, similar to Tuesday, recorded a strong outing in his last start, which was his most recent appearance, too, against the Braves. He pitched four innings, allowing just one hit while walking two batters and striking out six batters as a starter.

This season, Brown is holding a strong 3.20 ERA. In 39.1 innings, he's struck out 45 batters while walking 15. His 1.195 WHIP is an impressive mark for the youngster, too.

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