The Chicago Cubs did not collect a hit against Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels on Saturday. It is the first time the Cubs were no-hit in a game since the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game against them in September of 1965. But if you are Cubs manager Joe Maddon, this is an all too familiar sight.
Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field marked the fifth time in Maddon’s managerial career, the first obviously with the Cubs, that his team did not record a hit in an entire game. The first four occurred when he was the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Three of those four were perfect games. Some of the gems were accomplished by soon-to-be-hall-of-famers (i.e.: Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez) while others were done by one-game wonders (i.e.: Dallas Braden).
There were even some close calls. On August 8, 2010, Brandon Morrow was an out away from giving the Blue Jays its second no-hitter in franchise history. But Evan Longoria managed to hit an opposite-field ground ball that went off the glove of a diving 2nd baseman Aaron Hill, who was playing him to pull, and into right field for the only hit the Rays would get in that game.
As much of a managerial genius people claim Maddon to be, if there is one knock against him is that Maddon seems to have a knack of putting out line ups that an opposing pitcher can shut down. What happened on Saturday may have been the first time in almost 50 years that the Cubs have been no-hit, but I suspect it will not be the last, at least while Maddon remains as manager the team.
Here is a list of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters/perfect games against teams that Maddon has managed:
Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox, perfect game vs. Tampa Bay, July 23, 2009
Dallas Braden, Oakland Athletics, perfect game vs. Tampa Bay, May 9, 2010
Edwin Jackson, Arizona Diamondbacks, no-hitter at Tampa Bay, June 25, 2010
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, perfect game vs. Tampa Bay, August 15, 2012
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies, no-hitter at Chicago Cubs, July 25, 2015