Brewers' Burnes, Hader combine for MLB record 9th no-hitter in win over Cleveland
Cleveland becomes 1st team to be no-hit 3 times in the same season
Milwaukee ace Corbin Burnes combined with reliever Josh Hader to pitch baseball's record ninth no-hitter this season, breaking a mark set when pitchers began throwing overhand in 1884 as the Brewers beat Cleveland 3-0 on Saturday night.
Burnes (10-4) struck out 14 with 115 pitches over eight innings, taking a perfect game into the seventh while overpowering Cleveland, who were no-hit for a record third time in 2021. All of those came with starter Zach Plesac on the mound.
This time, Cleveland was stymied by Burnes — who has become a Cy Young contender as the Brewers run away with the NL Central — and Hader, one of the game's top closers.
The right-handed Burnes was in control from the start, striking out 11 of his first 14 hitters and retiring the first 18 in order. After walking Myles Straw to start the seventh, the 26-year-old got through the eighth thanks to a diving catch by center fielder Lorenzo Cain on Owen Miller's liner.
"I was definitely on my horse, ready to go get that one," Cain said. "You need a little bit of everything to go right in a no-hitter."
The Progressive Field crowd booed as Hader came on in the ninth. He overpowered Oscar Mercado, striking him out to start the inning. Then, first baseman Jace Peterson went into foul territory to making a lunging catch for the second out.
Hader ended the no-hitter by getting Straw to flail at a pitch in the dirt for his 31st save. The Brewers stormed the field to share hugs and high-fives with a signature victory in their runaway season.
"To share that with Josh was obviously awesome," Burnes said. "He was the first guy I congratulated."
The final out. <a href="https://t.co/vfMVBPWhC1">pic.twitter.com/vfMVBPWhC1</a>—@MLB
Juan Nieves pitched the Brewers' previous no-hitter on April 15, 1987, at Baltimore.
'It was a masterpiece'
Burnes dropped his ERA to 2.25 and has more than doubled his career high for strikeouts with 210 in 152 innings. He's been vying with Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler and the Dodgers' Max Scherzer for the NL Cy Young Award. This gem, no doubt, will have some sway with voters.
"It was a masterpiece," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "Corbin felt good after the eighth, but knowing you're putting in Josh Hader to finish it played a part in the decision."
The Brewers improved to a franchise-record 33 games over .500 while slimming their magic number to clinch the division to eight.
Most of those gems were thrown before MLB cracked down on the use of sticky foreign substances by pitchers in late June.
The no-hitters by Miley and Rodon both came against Cleveland, as did a seven-inning no-hitter by Tampa Bay on July 7 that didn't officially count in the Major League Baseball record book. Arizona's Madison Bumgarner also had a seven-inning no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader at Atlanta on April 25.
The Brewers completed this bit of history three days after Minnesota rookie Joe Ryan retired the first 19 of Cleveland's batters in a 3-0 win at Progressive Field.
'I don't even know if that makes sense to me'
Plesac couldn't get his head around being on the wrong side of three no-hitters. Prior to Saturday, Jim Perry was the only starter in baseball history to have his opponent throw a no-hitter three times in a career prior to Saturday, per Elias.
Cleveland's acting manager DeMarlo Hale didn't offer any excuses.
"You deal with it, you get up and play tomorrow," he said. "The good thing about no-hitters, it's only one loss. I know it's been three times, but you deal with it, you move on, you understand the level of competition you're playing against and you move on. I don't have an answer for that."
Plesac allowed three runs, two earned, over six innings.
The Brewers scored twice in the first inning on an RBI double by Christian Yelich and a sacrifice fly from Omar Narvaez. Milwaukee made it 3-0 in the second when Rowdy Tellez doubled home Daniel Vogelbach.
Tellez experienced right knee pain while running the bases and left the game.