Philadelphia Phillies enter trivia books but season is still a stinker

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A solid piece of trivia that is just two years old: who was the last starting pitcher involved in a combined no-hitter? 

The answer would be Kevin Millwood, when he pitched for the Seattle Mariners at the end of his career. Naming the other five pitchers that teamed up in the M's no-no would be ridiculous for just about any non-Mariners fanatic.

Here's your trivia...

But in case the piece of trivia does come up, that would be Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhemsen. That motley crew of six arms worked in tandem to navigate the LA Dodgers' lineup in June of 2012. And it was the most recent combined no-hitter in baseball history - up until Monday afternoon.

Playing on Labor Day afternoon, the Philadelphia Phillies held their division rival Braves hit-less over nine innings for the 11th combined no-hitter the MLB has ever seen. It was also the12th time the Phillies have blanked an opponent in the hit column in their franchise's history.

Cole Hamels got the start and went the majority of the way for Philly - who entered the day 15.5 games out of first place in the National League East. But the former World Series MVP also worked up an awfully high pitch count through six innings. Hamels struck out seven in those six frames and also walked five. A pitch count of 108 left Ryne Sandberg no choice but to pull his starter with a no-hitter alive. 

Perfect set-up

The Phillies made it 5-0 before Hamels came out of the game and Jake Diekman took his spot on the mound. Diekman and Ken Giles combined to strike out five of the six batters they faced in the seventh and eighth innings. Each needed just 15 pitches to complete perfect setup innings before handing the ninth over to the closer Jonathan Papelbon. 

It wasn't a save situation, but Papelbon came on to finish a pretty important ninth inning for a Philadelphia team looking for any moral victories down the stretch of what's been a last-place season. Papelbon finished the 1-2-3 ninth on only nine pitches - and seven strikes. He got a ground ball out along with a pair of fly balls to hold Atlanta. 

Phillies take what they can get

In a season in which there won't be much to remember, at least Philadelphia fans can hold on to what will likely become a pretty obscure - and awesome - piece of trivia in the coming years. And Cole Hamels avoided throwing his arm out chasing a piece of history that's only becoming more and more common. 

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MLB National League
Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies

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