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article imageHamels throws no-hitter in what may be last start for Phillies

By Nathan Salant     Jul 27, 2015 in Sports
Chicago - Philadelphia Phillies pitching star Cole Hamels certainly heard the rumors about being traded before Saturday's waiver deadline.
How could he not, with speculation all over the sports pages and with the Phillies' awful record (39-67, worst in the National League) so far?
A team pays a guy $23.5 million a year, like the Phillies pay Hamels, and it expects more than last place, right?
A week from the waiver deadline, when MLB clubs scramble at the last minute to get the best players available in the short term almost without regard for cost in the long term, Hamels figures to be moved to a contending team.
So, maybe he was just showing off Saturday when he pitched a no-hitter, the first of his nine-year career, against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
There hadn't been much to show off this year, not like in 2008 or 2009, when Hamels helped pitch the Phillies to the World Series and won the series' MVP award in 2008 when Philadelphia took the series in five games.
So there was Hamels, still the star of the Phils' rotation despite an uninspiring 6-7 record so far this year, taking control of the game at the start and keeping the Cubs guessing.
Hamels struck out 13 and walked two, throwing 129 pitches to become the first pitcher to no-hit the Cubs in 50 years, according to the New York Times.
The Phillies' rookie centerfielder, Odubel Herrera, made two tumbling catches on the warning track, including the last out of the game, to add to the drama.
"You just go out there and enjoy the moment,” Hamels told the newspaper said after the game.
"What I want is to be successful at it; I enjoyed the moment, and this happened," he said.
Hamels' gem was the first no-hitter against the Cubs since Sandy Koufax's 1963 perfect game.
Hamels said he knew right after taking the mound that he had good stuff; he just didn't know how good.
“Just being able to pound the zone — that’s what I wanted to do today,” he said.
“I was able to get ahead and make them swing at bad pitches,” Hamels said.
Hamels' no-hitter was the fourth no-no caught by Cubs' catcher Carlos Ruiz, most in the National League and tied with Jason Varitek for the most in major league history, the AP said.
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