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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Chicago Cubs’ Alec Mills tosses no-hitter against Brewers

Chicago Cubs righty Alec Mills threw the league’s second no-hitter of the season on Sunday, shutting down the Milwaukee Brewers in a 12-0 victory.

Mills, 28, struck out five while walking three.

Asked in the postgame interview on the Marquee Sports Network how he felt, Mills responded: “I have no idea. It hasn’t really hit me yet. I didn’t really know how to celebrate. Just something that came together today.”

The Brewers never got close to a hit in the final innings as Mills threw a career-high 114 pitches in just his 15th career big league start. He induced a popup by Jacob Nottingham and then struck out Tyrone Taylor for the first two outs of the ninth inning before getting Jace Peterson to ground out to short.

Mills said that his curveball was his best pitch on the day. He often set up hitters with a first-pitch curve for a strike.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2020 at 06:31 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alec mills, cubs, no-hitters

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 13, 2020 at 06:47 PM (#5976237)
I was doing some work, passively following the game on GameDay. I checked out completely after the Cubs went up 9-0, completely unaware that Mills hadn't allowed a hit. Later, my friend texted, "Who the #### is Alec Mills?" Even then, I didn't think much of it. Wasn't until maybe a half hour later that I got on Twitter and saw the news and it made sense why he was asking me.

   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 13, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5976240)
Brewers were 0-for-11 on hard hit balls, reportedly the worst outcome in the Statcast era, with only a .07% chance by expected batting average. Looked like the kid had good movement on the part I saw (innings 7-9), but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of luck.
   3. John Northey Posted: September 13, 2020 at 07:22 PM (#5976243)
I suspect all no-hitters have a fair amount of luck as no one has ever had one with 27 K's. Every time a ball it put in play there is a risk of a base hit. Ask Dave Stieb about that (three times had 2 out in the 9th in a no-hitter and didn't get it before finally getting it on his 4th try. He also had another game where he got into the 9th without allowing a hit but then things went sideways bad - with luck he'd have had 4 or 5 no hitters instead of one).
   4. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5976244)
It seems we've seen an awful lot of extremes over the last 7-10 days. Maybe it's no more than normal and I'm just overly influenced by those 29 runs the Braves got the other day but seems to me we've seen a good number of "massive runs vs no runs" and now that combined with a no-hitter. Of course we see several such blowouts in a typical season but ...

Sept 1: 10-1, 12-1, 16-3, 23-5 (that's skipping 10-3)
Sept 2: nothing crazy
Sept 3: 2 games with 16+ runs total but competitive
Sept 4: 10-9
Sept 5: 10-9, 9-8
Sept 6: 10-8, 10-8, 14-1
Sept 7: 9-8, 12-7
Sept 8: 10-9, 11-2, 14-5
Sept 9: 29-9, 19-0, 10-1
Sept 10: 12-2, 11-1
Sept 11: 18-1, 11-0, 11-1, 10-1
Sept 12: 14-0, 10-1, 12-6, 10-1
Sept 13: 12-0, 11-0

It hasn't just been offense, there seem to have been a ton of shutouts too (not included above), including many with scores like 7-0 so not competitive in the slightest.
   5. McCoy Posted: September 13, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5976245)
I had a double whammy today. I was streaming the bears but ran into some trouble in the 3rd quarter. Since the game was dreadful I said forget it and turned to TBS for the Cubs game. It was the 4th inning and as in tune in the announcers tell me that no one from either team has had a hit yet. Then Heyward immediately gets a bloop single and the Cubs score 5 runs. I completely forget the Cubs have a no hitter going because TBS's announcer are absolutely boring and they put me to sleep. So I turn on a movie. Afterwards I find out Mitch throws 3 TDs in the 4th quarter to come from behind and the Cubs throw a no hitter.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: September 13, 2020 at 08:11 PM (#5976248)
#4: I'd imagine with the weirdness of the season that the standard deviation of player ability got bigger this season, after more or less shrinking over the historical long-term.
   7. T.J. Posted: September 13, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5976261)
D***it, the game was on TBS? I tried to find it. I NEVER have any clue when a game is on with them.
   8. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 14, 2020 at 02:29 AM (#5976270)
So Facebook memories is telling me that this no-hitter was just a day short of Carlos Zambrano throwing a no-hitter back in 2008.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: September 14, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5976286)

So Facebook memories is telling me that this no-hitter was just a day short of Carlos Zambrano throwing a no-hitter back in 2008.


Also in Milwaukee, though against the Astros.
   10. Itchy Row Posted: September 14, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5976292)
It's the fifth largest run differential in a no-hitter. The biggest was in Arrieta's, at 16-0.
   11. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 14, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5976297)
I suspect all no-hitters have a fair amount of luck as no one has ever had one with 27 K's. Every time a ball it put in play there is a risk of a base hit. Ask Dave Stieb about that (three times had 2 out in the 9th in a no-hitter and didn't get it before finally getting it on his 4th try. He also had another game where he got into the 9th without allowing a hit but then things went sideways bad - with luck he'd have had 4 or 5 no hitters instead of one).

I think I saw he only had 5 swings and misses, which is one of the lowest ever in a no hitter. In general, Mills isn't a guy who's going to blow people away or overpower them. He sits with 91/92 with his fastball, but throws a curveball as slow as 66. When he has good games, it's a bunch of weak contact. So he's a guy that always seems like he's living on the edge and is very close to falling apart.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5976299)
in his last two starts, Mills has 15 scoreless innings - and an xERA of 4.43.

xERA is a better predictor of what's next.

if you could "short" this guy like a stock, you could get rich.
   13. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 14, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5976317)
D***it, the game was on TBS? I tried to find it. I NEVER have any clue when a game is on with them.


I'm a fuddy-duddy who still has cable (AT&T), and they have a nice feature in the channel guide where there's a tab for currently airing sports.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5976323)
On the Scoreboard page of the MLB website, they had a “No Hitter” designation on the top of the Cubs-Brewers game. Hadn’t noticed anyone doing that before, but may not have looked at the right time. I wonder how many they have ‘jinxed’?
   15. Itchy Row Posted: September 14, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5976324)
I saw the "No Hitter" thing on mlb.com for Giolito's game, so I saw the end of that. I've seen it one other time this year and tuned into the game just in time for the jinx to work.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: September 14, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5976338)

On the Scoreboard page of the MLB website, they had a “No Hitter” designation on the top of the Cubs-Brewers game. Hadn’t noticed anyone doing that before, but may not have looked at the right time. I wonder how many they have ‘jinxed’?


I believe it is, proportionally, the exact same number that were jinxed by not making mention of it.

Hawk Harrelson didn't have much going for him in the booth, but his approach to broadcasting no-hitters in progress was one all announcers should follow.

"If I was in uniform, I wouldn't say anything [about the perfect game]," Harrelson said. "But I'm behind the microphone now. When you're an announcer, and you have people tuning in and out the way they do these days, you have to say, `Hey, there's something special going on here.' My wife called our nieces and told them to turn on the game."
   17. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 14, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5976372)
On the Scoreboard page of the MLB website, they had a “No Hitter” designation on the top of the Cubs-Brewers game. Hadn’t noticed anyone doing that before, but may not have looked at the right time. I wonder how many they have ‘jinxed’?


Are you talking about the score ticker atop the MLB site? I've noticed they tend to put up the "No Hitter" tab on games as early as the sixth inning.
   18. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 14, 2020 at 05:26 PM (#5976390)
if you could "short" this guy like a stock, you could get rich.


They don't do this in daily fantasy baseball yet? I'm sure there's soon to be a booth at Wrigley that will oblige.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2020 at 06:35 PM (#5976400)
When he's going good, Mills has a touch of Hendricks about him. Of course all "soft"-tossers who make the majors look liek that when they're going good, it's really a matter of how often they can mysteriously look like that. Also, it wasn't a lot of innings, but in his 57 innings before this season, he had 69 Ks. That included 39 Ks in 31 IP as a starter so it wasn't really a bullpen thing. (It might well have been a "here's a Sept start against a crappy team" thing.) This season has brought his career K/9 under 9 but it still looks good.

As I noted somewhere I was a bit surprised to find that he has a career BABIP against of 267 (now 247). So the no-hitter is either further proof that he is the luckiest pitcher alive (the anti-Glendon Rusch) or he's got something figured out and now just needs to figure out the rest. (It is still just 110 innings, luck should not be ruled out by any means.) His career line against at this point is 209/296/371. If he can drop the BBs or the HRs, he can withstand some regression in BABIP.

Don't worry, I fully expect a run of, give or take, 12 runs in 15 innings to finish the season.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2020 at 06:45 PM (#5976401)
and an xERA of 4.43.

Or, in other words, this would be an ERA+ of 103 which I would be thrilled with for Alec Mills. His FIP is 4.86 which is a 94 ERA+ which would be a good 5th starter, even OK 4th starter which, given he's cheap, I'm also OK with going forward. The ZiPS projections (from before this season) put him around that FIP for the next two seasons.
   21. Rally Posted: September 15, 2020 at 11:09 AM (#5976478)
They don't do this in daily fantasy baseball yet? I'm sure there's soon to be a booth at Wrigley that will oblige.


I never tried the daily fantasy stuff. Back when I played regular fantasy, shorting a guy like this might mean trading him for someone like Jim Thome if the latter was only hitting .180 through his first 20 games. And that reference tells you how long it's been since I played fantasy baseball.

Since the no-hitter I've seen a lot more of Alec Mills on highlights, or his picture on the lead in to stories. I did not realize how much he looks like Greg Maddux. The bbref picture, not so much, but I do a double take any time I see a pic where he's got his glasses on.
   22. Rally Posted: September 15, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5976479)
As I noted somewhere I was a bit surprised to find that he has a career BABIP against of 267 (now 247). So the no-hitter is either further proof that he is the luckiest pitcher alive (the anti-Glendon Rusch) or he's got something figured out and now just needs to figure out the rest. (It is still just 110 innings, luck should not be ruled out by any means.) His career line against at this point is 209/296/371. If he can drop the BBs or the HRs, he can withstand some regression in BABIP.


Minor leaguers could hit him (.314 BABIP), so yeah, plan on regression.
   23. Bug Selig Posted: September 15, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5976563)
Scanning the excerpt, I was surprised to see only 5 K's and had an immediate reaction of "Wow - that's some serious BABIP luck." Turns out all no-hitters share a BABIP of .000, so yeah.
   24. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 15, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5976569)
   25. Zonk paid more than $750 in taxes last paycheck Posted: September 15, 2020 at 05:26 PM (#5976575)
Mills is more Maddux's old rookie (or thereabouts) teammate Jamie Moyer (albeit, from the RH side) than Greg.

He needs - but doesn't always have - good command, but when he's got it - his key to success, as Moses noted, is that he'll vary his speeds by big margins. Maddux could paint anything with some pretty good stuff - Moyer's stuff was pedestrian, but he'd throw it at huge velocity differences.

His curve isn't quite Rich Hill level (almost nobody's is), but he also reminds me a bit of latter day Hill.

In short... Mills is a crafty lefty in a RHP's body.

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