With his pitch count nearing 100, Cubs manager David Ross removed Zach Davies in the midst of a no-hitter during Thursday’s game against the Dodgers.
Davies didn’t allow a hit through six innings, but five walks in his first three-plus innings elevated his pitch count, which sat at 94.
“With where he was at in the game, I didn't see him going nine,” Ross said. “I just felt like it was a good opportunity with the runner at third and nobody out to push across some more runs.”
The Cubs led 3-0 when they put runners on the corners to start the seventh inning. With a chance to add insurance runs, Ross inserted Jake Marisnick to pinch hit for his starter.
The move paid off. Marisnick singled to right field, extending the lead to 4-0.
Even as the game wore on without a hit, the Dodgers felt they were within striking distance.
“We were in it the whole game,” outfielder Mookie Betts said. “Maybe one hit can spark a whole inning for us.”
Ross turned to his three-headed relief monster, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel, for the final three innings, and the lockdown trio finished off the combined no-hitter.
Without the scoring opportunity presenting itself, though, Ross planned to send Davies back out for another inning.
“The hard part first is taking the guy out that hasn't given up a hit,” Ross said. “He was going back out and trying to at least get into the seventh and see where it went."
Davies wasn’t surprised, given the circumstances and where his pitch count was.
“Every pitcher wants to continue in the game regardless of the pitch count," Davies said, "but it worked.
“Seventh, eighth, ninth [innings] after I came out of the game, Chaf, Tep and Craig shut the door.”