Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills threw a no-hitter in the Cubs’ 12-0 win at Milwaukee Sunday, the first of his career.
Meanwhile, the Cubs offence capitalized on the Brewers’ sloppy defense to score in the double digits for the first time in the month of September.
Here are takeaways from the game:
“Alec Mills has got to go out and set the tone early on,” Cubs manager David Ross said before the game. “We're going to have confidence when we have energy coming off last night.”
Not only did Mills deliver early on, but the only batters that reached base were the three he walked.
Mills took the mound in the ninth inning, with his pitch count already past 100. But he had the chance to hit the biggest accomplishment of his career.
He induced a popup from Jacob Nottingham and struck out Tyrone Taylor to come one out away from a no-hitter.
He achieved the feat with a ground out to shortstop Javier Báez, hit by Jace Peterson.
Mills’ teammates mobbed him on the mound to celebrate.
Jason Heyward, series MVP
Less than 17 hours after hitting a game-winning home run, Jason Heyward had another go-ahead RBI.
After a walk and an error in the fourth inning, runners stood on first and second base as Heyward stepped up to the plate.
Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser threw a first-pitch changeup down the middle to Heyward, and Heyward sat back on it and poked a double into left field. Two runs scored, the first runs of the game.
That started a five-run rally in the fourth inning. Victor Caratini later drove in Heyward with a bloop single. Ian Happ came through with the bases loaded, lining a two-run single to left.
The Brewers committed two fielding errors in the inning.
Still cautious with Bryant
Ross rested Kris Bryant on Sunday.
“I still have concerns about making sure he's moving in the right direction,” Ross said, “playing the right amount of games getting him a day off.”
Bryant continues to receive treatment on his left wrist, which he had an injection for last month. But Ross said it doesn’t look like the wrist is bothering Bryant.
“He's gotten some knocks, but I still think he's got another gear that he's expecting of himself,” Ross said, “and so I just try to try to watch and make my assessment of all that.”
With Bryant out of the lineup, David Bote started at third base.
“I think the guys have done a great job of rolling with the punches and continuing to bring it every day. Things obviously hadn't gone as smooth as we would have liked, but I don't think any baseball season does. I'm proud of this group and the way they've overcome some of the adversity and continue to bring it.” – David Ross
The Cubs have the day off Monday, after playing 14 games in 13 days. On Tuesday, they open a two-game series against the Indians at Wrigley Field.
Right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to take the mound for the Cubs, going up against Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco.