With last night’s combined no-hitter disappointment behind us, let’s take a look back at the Phillies’ combined no-hitter of their own eight years ago. 2014 was a tough time to be a Phillies fan, as the team was only a few years removed from both the 2008 glory days, as well as the subsequent collapse after 2012. Franchise icons Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were dealing with both injuries and bouts of ineffectiveness by this point in their careers, and the Phillies had settled into the National League East cellar.
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There were still a few bright spots for the 2014 Phils. Marlon Byrd put up a rock solid age-36 campaign, Jonathan Papelbon was his usual elite self, and rookie Ken Giles established himself as a truly dominant late-inning arm. However, the season as a whole was an unmitigated disaster. Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg was in his first and only full season as the Phils’ skipper, and he quickly lost control of the locker room. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did what he does best and procrastinated going full-tilt into a much needed rebuild for yet another year. The Phillies ultimately posted a putrid 73-89 record for the season.
However, all the pain of the 2014 season was taken away for just one day on September 1st, as the Phillies tossed a combined no-hitter against the division rival Braves. It started with 6.0 masterful innings from 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels, in which he surrendered five walks while striking out seven. Jake Diekman fanned two in a perfect seventh, and Giles struck out the side in a perfect eighth inning. Papelbon was called on to slam the door, and the Braves went three-up, three-down in the ninth to complete the Phillies’ combined no-hitter. On the offensive side of things, light-hitting speedster Ben Revere racked up five RBI, while Jimmy Rollins fell just a home run short of the cycle. Sevens were wild that day, as the Phillies pummeled the Braves for seven runs on seven hits and seven walks.
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In 2022, let’s give thanks for the Phillies we have today. They’ve scuffled a bit out of the gate, and last night was incredibly deflating. However, they have a playoff-caliber roster for the first time in over a decade. Whether or not that happens, they’ve given us hope, and that’s important. Today I’m glad that in spite of last night’s embarrassment the Phillies are in much better shape than they were in 2014. Hopefully, last night will just be a footnote on the way to October glory.
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