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Cubs 4, Dodgers 0: Zach Davies, 3 relievers combine to no-hit L.A.

The Cubs made history at Dodger Stadium Thursday evening.

Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Well now, that was unexpected!

Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combined on a no-hitter Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, and the Cubs won 4-0.

I guarantee you that is not a sentence I thought I would ever write, and you certainly did not expect to read it.

First, many thanks to Josh for his “rapid recap” of the game late last night. Yes, I stayed up to watch the whole thing:

But, even without knowing Josh was going to post something, I figured you all would be back here in the morning, as usual for a night game, to find out all the details.

You know, this was a pretty messy no-hitter. Davies walked five, and Tepera, Chafin and Kimbrel walked one each. The eight total walks is tied for fourth-most ever in a no-hitter. The most is 11, by Blue Moon Odom and Francisco Barrios of the White Sox, July 28, 1976.

Davies threw 94 pitches (58 strikes) in six innings — and that could have been fewer, if not for egregiously bad calls like this one in the first inning when Max Muncy was batting:

Pitch 6 should have been strike 3 to Muncy; instead it was ball 3, and Davies walked Muncy on the next pitch. The next batter, Chris Taylor, flied to center on the first pitch — the inning should have been over. Instead, Cody Bellinger worked an eight-pitch at-bat off Davies and also walked.

Davies got out of the inning, but his pitch count was already up.

In fairness, plate umpire Brian O’Nora made bad calls like this for both teams. I suspect when the @UmpScorecards graphic for this game is available later this morning, it will show a large number of missed calls.

Anyway, Davies settled down after that. He did issue three more walks, one each in the third, fourth and fifth. It wasn’t his best outing, but it certainly was better than the last one, where he gave up eight runs in six innings at Wrigley Field to the Marlins.

Before those first-inning walks by Davies, Javier Báez had given the Cubs a 1-0 lead [VIDEO].

Here’s another angle on Javy’s blast [VIDEO].

In the sixth, with the Cubs still nursing that 1-0 lead, Kris Bryant led off with a walk. Two outs later, Willson Contreras made it 3-0 [VIDEO].

Here’s another angle on Willson’s homer [VIDEO].

Fun fact about Willson’s homer:

The Cubs extended the lead to 4-0 in the seventh. Jason Heyward (who had two hits in the game) singled and reached second on an error. Eric Sogard singled Heyward to third, and then Jake Marisnick, batting for Davies, drove Heyward in [VIDEO].

So then it was up to the bullpen triumvirate of Tepera, Chafin and Kimbrel to nail down the win and try to finish a combined no-no.

Tepera issued a two-out walk to Gavin Lux in the bottom of the seventh, then got out of the inning on a line drive to second by Austin Barnes. Tepera threw 16 pitches.

Chafin also issued a walk, this one with one out, but got out of it with a double play [VIDEO] (the clip also includes the first out of the inning). Overall: 15 pitches (10 strikes).

The Cubs didn’t score in the ninth, so now it was up to Kimbrel, even though the game was not in a save situation. Kimbrel had not thrown since Sunday, and his first two pitches showed that, up and way out of the strike zone. Eventually he walked Chris Taylor on four pitches. But then he struck out Bellinger and Albert Pujols, touching 98 on Marquee’s pitch speed indicator.

He went to 0-2 on pinch-hitter Will Smith and... [VIDEO]

Here is Kimbrel’s entire ninth inning [VIDEO].

Even with the leadoff walk, Kimbrel finished up throwing just 14 pitches (nine strikes).

Here are a few more fun facts:

I’ll also add that this was the 17th no-hitter in Cubs franchise history, but the first thrown by more than one pitcher, and the first overall for the Cubs since Alec Mills no-hit the Brewers September 13, 2020 in Milwaukee. The Cubs are now the first team to no-hit the Dodgers twice at Dodger Stadium. The other, you surely remember: Jake Arrieta, August 30, 2015.

It’s the 15th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and here are another couple of firsts:

And the three relievers who replaced Davies had no idea it was going on:

Here are Kimbrel’s postgame comments [VIDEO].

More postgame comments from Davies, Tepera, Chafin, Kimbrel, David Ross and Willson Contreras [VIDEO].

And, if you like, here are all 27 outs from the no-hitter in four minutes and 42 seconds [VIDEO].

Last fun fact: The 17 no-hitters ties the Cubs with the Giants and Reds for fourth-most by any team, behind the Red Sox (18), White Sox (20) and Dodgers (26).

As gratifying and fun as this no-hitter was, the win was important for the Cubs for two other reasons. First, they are back in a first-place tie in the NL Central with the Brewers at 42-33; Milwaukee was idle Thursday. The Reds defeated the Braves, so they remain four games behind in third place, and the Cardinals, who lost their fourth in a row Thursday evening, are now six games behind.

Second, the victory also clinched the season series for the Cubs over the Dodgers. This could come into play for home field in the postseason if both teams make it, have identical regular-season records, and face each other in a playoff series.

Later this morning I’ll have articles on all the no-hitters in Cubs history (9 a.m. CT) as well as one listing all the combined no-hitters in MLB history (11 a.m. CT).

Funny thing. Jake Arrieta, as noted above, was the previous pitcher before Thursday night to throw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium... and he’ll be the starting pitcher Friday evening for the Cubs in the second game of this four-game set in Los Angeles. Tony Gonsolin is scheduled to start for the Dodgers. Game time is again 9:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.