The last place Philadelphia Phillies gave their team and fans something to cheer for on Monday afternoon as four pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter against the division rival Atlanta Braves. This marked the fourth time this season that a no-hitter had been thrown.
Cole Hamels, who has been without question the best pitcher in the Phillies staff this season, tossed six no-hit innings, but was taken out after having thrown 108 pitchers over that span. Hamels had a solid line, striking out seven, giving up no hits, but he walked a season-high five batters over his six frames of work.
The Phillies called upon reliever Jake Diekman to pitch the seventh inning, and Ken Giles pitched the eighth. Both pitchers tossed a perfect inning. Closer Jonathan Papelbon also added a perfect ninth inning to finish off the no-hitter.
There have been three other no-hitters throughout the 2014 season, this being the first team effort in getting the no-no. A pair of Dodger pitchers tossed no-hitters as Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett both achieved their first no-hitters of their careers. Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants tossed his second no-hitter of his career earlier this season as well.
No-hitters almost seemingly would not happen without some kind of tremendous play. During this game it was much of the same as Philles right-fielder Marlon Byrd was the hero. Byrd made a tremendous play as he sprinted in and toward the right field line to make a diving catch on Chris Johnson's line drive to end the third inning.
It was the 11th combined no-hitter in Major League Baseball history, the last one being back in 2012 when Kevin Millwood and five other Seattle Mariners pitchers teamed up to throw a no-hitter against the Dodgers.
It was the 12th no-hitter in Phillies history. Roy Halladay pitched the past two for the team, both coming in the same season when he tossed a perfect game against the Marlins in 2010, and later threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the playoffs.
For the starting pitcher in the contest, Hamels has put together an impressive career. The 30-year-old has won the World Series and won the MVP of the 2008 World Series and was the National League Championship Series MVP as well. He has also been a three-time All-Star and now has part of a no-hitter to add to his resume.
In what has been another tough season for the Phillies and their fans, this combined no-hit effort finally gave them something to be happy and proud of.
It has been a difficult transition as the Phillies were once looked at as one of the best teams in baseball, and the past few seasons have been one of the worst.