In a season nobody wants to remember, the Phillies made history Monday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves.
Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined to no-hit the Braves in a 7-0 series-opening win. It is the Phillies' first combined no-hitter in the team's 132-year history, and it came in the team's 20,105th game. But they're still in last place in the NL East. It's been a long season, but it's almost over.
It's now September. The NFL season begins Thursday night. The Eagles open their season Sunday at the Linc. And the Phils have 25 games left. It gets better.
But first, Monday. It was a good day to be a Phillies fan. Cole Hamels allowed six baserunners, but he didn't allow a hit (that's pretty good). Giles' outing once again gave fans a glimpse into the future, as he has future closer written all over himself. Papelbon was Pap, and Diekman redeemed himself after a rough outing Friday.
Here are some facts and figures from the no-hitter:
• The Phils' combined no-hitter was the 11th in MLB history. Seattle last did it in June 2012 against the Dodgers, but it needed six pitchers. The Phils only needed four!
• It was also the fourth no-hitter this season. Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Josh Beckett also have thrown no-nos. Beckett no-hit the Phillies on May 25. That was fun.
• Here's a fun fact: The Phillies are the fourth team in the last five seasons to not only throw a no-hitter but also get no-hit. Remember when no-hitters were rare? Seems like a lot.
• The pitching has been noted. So let's give Ben Revere some love. Because why not. Revere's five RBIs are tied for third most by a player on a team that threw a no-hitter, according to Elias, via ESPN. Phillies fans will like this, Hunter Pence also did it last season in Lincecum's no-no.
• Hamels threw 108 pitches of no-hit ball in six innings. He walked five and hit a batter. Control was a problem. But, hey, he had 12 swings-and-misses with his fastball, which is the most he's had in any start in the past two seasons.
• The Phillies have three no-hitters in the last five years. Only one other team has done that. It's the Giants, with Lincecum's two no-nos and Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012. The takeaway: The Phillies and Giants both like throwing no-hitters, and both are good at it — at least lately.
• Carlos Ruiz now has caught three no-hitters. That's impressive. Chooch's three no-nos is tied for second all time, behind Jason Vartiek, who was behind the plate for four of them with Boston from 2001 to 2008.
• On the subject of combined no-hitters — and the Red Sox — Boston was the first team to pitch a combined no-hitter. The year was 1917 and it came against the Washington Senators. Babe Ruth was tossed in the first inning for arguing strikes and balls after walking Eddie Foster.
• Baseball games are long. They seem longer this season. And Monday's game was the first combined no-no to last three or more hours. The game time was three hours and 10 minutes. Yikes.
• Monday's no-hitter was the first since Edwin Jackson' no-hitter on June 25, 2010, when he was with Arizona, to include at least five walks and one hit batter.
And, of course, a no-hitter wouldn't be complete without pizza.
Because the Phillies combined to no-hit the Braves, Dominos is providing free pizza to the first 20,000 MLB.com account holders to register at MLB.com/dominos. You can all run to signup Tuesday at 3 p.m. when registration opens. The prize: A medium, two-topping Domino's Handmade Pan Pizza. You can find out more information about free pizza here.
Remember, folks, free pizza is the best kind of pizza. Even if it is Domino's.