Cubs throw first combined no-hitter in franchise history against Dodgers
Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel allowed eight walks but zero hits in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory Thursday.
LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t the prettiest one you’ll see, but the Cubs don’t care. Neither will the history books.
Right-hander Zach Davies and relievers Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel teamed up to throw the first combined no-hitter in franchise history in a 4-0 victory against the Dodgers. It was the 17th no-hitter in Cubs history.
It hadn’t been long since the Cubs’ last no-hitter: Alec Mills made history against the Brewers on Sept. 13, 2020, in Milwaukee.
‘‘This is an awesome moment,’’ Davies said. ‘‘Even though it wasn’t a solo, it was a combined effort. Just being part of history and something like that is fun.’’
Davies’ night against the reigning World Series champion Dodgers didn’t start smoothly. He walked Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger in the first inning before getting a grounder to end the threat. After that, however, things started to click for Davies, who figured out exactly how he wanted to attack the Dodgers.
Davies allowed only two hard-hit balls (95 mph or faster) in his six innings and struck out four. He walked a season-high five and had been sharper this season, but none of that mattered when he left with zeros still on the board.
‘‘I think the hard part is taking out a guy who hasn’t given up a hit,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘He was going back out to try to at least get into the seventh and see where it went, but I felt like we needed to take advantage of guys on base [in the seventh] with nobody out to push across an extra run.’’
The bullpen has been a big part of the Cubs’ success this season, and it made sense the top-line relievers would get an opportunity to be part of history, as well.
Tepera, Chafin and Kimbrel have been lights-out this season, and when those three appear in the same game, it usually means good things for the Cubs. Thursday was no exception.
Tepera was first, working a hitless seventh despite allowing a walk. Chafin came on in the eighth and did the same. That made Kimbrel the last man up.
‘‘The whole bullpen had no idea [about the no-hitter],’’ Chafin said after the game. ‘‘Like, everyone was oblivious. We couldn’t see the scoreboard with the line or whatever at the bottom.’’
After walking Chris Taylor to start the ninth, Kimbrel looked as electric as he had all season. He struck out Bellinger, Albert Pujols and Will Smith to seal the Cubs’ victory on a historic night.
‘‘It’s definitely an honor,’’ Tepera said. ‘‘What an accomplishment. As a bullpen this year, so far we’ve been really good. It’s kind of a cool thing to make history like that. As a baseball player, that’s all you can really ask for.’’
‘‘When [catcher Willson Contreras] gave a big fist pump, I knew something was up,’’ Kimbrel said. ‘‘And then [Tepera] ran out there and whispered in my ear, ‘You have no idea what just happened.’ Then [shortstop] Javy [Baez] put me in a headlock, and I knew pretty fast what had just happened.’’
The Cubs’ combined no-no was their second no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, with the last one coming courtesy of Jake Arrieta on Aug. 30, 2015.
Contreras wasn’t behind the plate for Mills’ no-hitter last season. So after finally getting the opportunity to catch one himself, the emotion of the moment took hold.
‘‘Catching this team since 2016, I’ve been catching a lot of shutout games, but nothing close to a no-hitter,’’ said Contreras, who also hit a home run. ‘‘Tonight was one of those nights that have a special place in my life and will be hard for me to forget.’’