Baseball poetry is sometimes difficult to understand.
Hamels threw the Phillies’ last no-hitter on July 25, 2015. Hamels was traded to Texas by the Phillies less than a week later. He never threw another pitch as a Philly.
Then, eight years and two weeks later, Michael Lorenzen threw the next Phillies no-hitter in Wednesday’s 7-0 win over Washington. That came a week after he was traded to do Phillies. And this is his First of all Start in Philadelphia after that trade.
Baseball. Always amazing.
Once upon a time, long before he ever threw a baseball in Philadelphia, long before he was a starting pitcher in the big leagues, Lorenzen dreamed of this night.
“I’ve watched every one of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters,” he told NBC Sports Philadelphia during a Phillies TV broadcast, “because I’ve always wanted to throw a no-hitter. I can’t believe I did it in front of this fan base.
But before this night, Lorenzen’s dream was no closer to becoming a reality.
• He never threw a complete game in the major leagues.
• He struck out only once, in the ninth inning of a major league start (May 1, 2022, as an Angel).
• His longest scoreless start was seven innings, which came three weeks earlier – a July 20 start for the Tigers in which he gave up three hits at Kansas City.
Then, in his first game as a Philly in Philadelphia, he pitched a no-hitter.
Other things you need to know
Michael Lorenzen, All Star – How many players who played in this year’s All-Star Game were traded at this trade deadline? Exactly one. Michael Lorenson. Two starts later, he threw a no-hitter.
Michael Lorenzen, Baseball’s Greatest Pitcher – It’s no secret that the season doesn’t start in July. It started in March. But since July 1, who has the lowest ERA of any starter in baseball? Yes. Michael Lorenson.
His era starts from the beginning of July in six: 1.11. That puts him just ahead of the Padres’ Blake Snell, whose ERA during that span was 1.22 (minimum 30 innings).
Dealing with deadlines – Since the trade deadline was moved to late July in 1986, only one other pitcher has switched teams at the deadline and then thrown a no-hitter for his new team. It’s (who else) Mike Fires.
Fires was traded by the Brewers to the Astros at the 2015 deadline. He then no-hit the Dodgers in his fourth start as an Astro.
Buy this man a cheesesteak – How rare is it for any pitcher to spin a no-hitter in his first start at home for any franchise? Perhaps it will be summarized as:
Lorenzen was the second person to do so Over the last 125 years. He was the chief minister for more than six decades.
According to Sarah Longs of MLB.com, via the Elias Sports Bureau, only four pitchers other than Lorenzen have pitched a no-hitter in their first start at home with a team:
• Don Cardwell, Cubs: May 15, 1960
• Jay Hughes, Orioles: April 22, 1898
• Bumpus Jones, Reds: October 15, 1892
• Ed Cushman, Milwaukee Cream Cities: Sep. 28, 1884
Nationals – They are in last place. They have their problems. But what they didn’t see was an unsuccessful primary candidate.
They haven’t closed since April! Only two teams – the Braves (two) and Diamondbacks (three) have been shutout fewer times this season than the Nationals (four, before this game). And so on AthleticDavid Aldridge noted that they were undefeated in 19 seasons in Washington.
Also, entering this game, five teams in the majors had a higher team batting average this season than the Nationals (.259).
In this game – According to Statcast, the Nationals hit three balls with more than a 50 percent chance of hitting — all in the last three innings. Guibert Ruiz and Ildemaro Vargas pitched in the seventh, each with a .510 hit probability on two hard balls. Then Alex Cal left in the eighth on a ball with a .590 hit probability.
Lorenzen admits he needs protection. He had 15 fly-ball outs. And his five strikeouts are the fewest by any pitcher in a complete-game no-hitter in a decade — Henderson Alvarez had four in a no-hitter for the Marlins on the final day of the 2013 season.
And Lorenzen’s 124 pitches was a career high. His previous high was 107 – eight years ago (April 29, 2015). He surpassed that pitch total by the end of the eighth inning (with 110).
Manager – Phillies manager Rob Thompson later told reporters that it was the first time in his career that he had been on the side of a hitter.
“The top of my entire college career, my early (pro) career and my major-league career,” he said.
But Thompson also said he was very close to knocking Lorenzen out of the game.
“After the seventh (inning), I went down the tunnel,” Thompson said. “I asked him, ‘How are you?’ And he said, ‘Cause he was seven out of 100 pitches (through). I’m good.’ And I said to him, ‘Are you strong?’ He said, ‘I’m strong. I’m fine.’ I said, ‘Okay, I’ll give you 20 pitches. That’s it.’ So I said, ‘You better get out quick.’ And he did. He said, ‘I will.’ And he did. So. It was a great, wonderful moment.”
Michael Lorenzen, Caleb Gotham start Phillies pitching partnership with comfort, confidence
(Top photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)