Davies, Cubs' bullpen combine for MLB's 7th no-hitter of '21


LOS ANGELES — Still think Zach Davies isn’t a key member of a playoff rotation?

Davies had six no-hit innings of response to that notion for anyone watching late Thursday night as he and the Cubs’ three-headed, late-inning bullpen monster of Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combined on the seventh no-hitter in major league baseball this season.

It added up to a 4-0 win at Dodger Stadium in the opener of a key 10-game road trip.

"This is an awesome moment," Davies said. "I think the World Series, something like that, probably tops it. but even though it wasn't a solo, being part of history is pretty special."

It already ties the post-19th-century record for most no-hitters in a season, and it's not even halfway through the season.

That doesn’t count the no-hitter thrown by Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner earlier this season in an official, seven-inning game during a doubleheader. Because it wasn’t nine innings, he didn’t get credit for an official no-hitter.

The season’s first no-hitter since the crackdown began this week on “sticky stuff” pitchers have used on baseballs to increase spin rate in recent years only underscored the historic dearth of hitting during an age of fast-increasing strikeout rates — and the reason MLB has a team of officials at work on solutions for the trend.

It was the Cubs' 17th no-hitter thrown, first since Alec Mills in Milwaukee last September.

As for Davies and the miserable first impression he made as a Cub with an awful April, consider what he's done in his last 11 starts: 4-2 with a 2.69 ERA, despite an eight-run aberration in that stretch against the Marlins Friday.

Thursday's no-no was the Cubs' first combined no-hitter, which might be even more impressive because, as Chafin said, "The whole bullpen had no idea. Everybody was oblivious."

In the bullpen's defense, he said, their view in the visitors pen at Dodger Stadium doesn't include the part of the stadium scoreboard that shows the hits.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," Chafin said. "I'm still kind of out there on it. It's pretty cool."

On this night, Davies walked five and needed 94 pitches to get through his six innings — explaining much of the reason manager David Ross lifted him for pinch-hitter (Jake Marisnick) with two on and one out in the top of the seventh inning, with a three-run lead.

He also walked five, among eight walks issued by the Cubs in the game — most in an MLB no-hitter since Edwin Jackson walked eight in his 2010 no-hitter for the Diamondbacks against the Rays.

Marisnick singled, and the Cubs added a run for the final score.

It was the first no-hitter at Dodger Stadium since Jake Arrieta in 2015 on the way to a Cy Young Award.

Arrieta pitches for the Cubs Friday.

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