What four Phillies pitchers joined forces to accomplish on Monday is no easy feat. Just ask some of the franchise's all-time greats.
Grover Alexander, Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts -- all of them Hall of Famers -- never threw a no-hitter. Alexander and Carlton are tied for the most one-hitters in team history, with six.
Roberts had several close calls, surrendering one hit in a game three times, but he could never pull off a no-no. By comparison, the Phillies were no-hit seven times during Roberts' big league career.
"I didn't have the kind of stuff to pitch no-hit games," said Roberts, who was inducted into the Hall in 1976. "It was Nolan Ryan and Sandy [Koufax] and those kind of guys."
One celebrated Phillies hurler who did get the job done was Roy Halladay. The recently retired two-time Cy Young Award winner made history twice in a Phillies uniform, twirling a perfect game against the Marlins on May 29, 2010, and a no-hitter against the Reds Oct. 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
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Halladay became the second pitcher in baseball history to throw a postseason no-hitter and the fifth to toss a pair of no-hitters in a single season.
"I think once it ends, it's a little bit surreal," Halladay said after the NLDS game.
And once that game ended, the Phillies didn't enjoy another no-hitter until Monday afternoon's Labor Day gem against the Braves at Turner Field, a 7-0 win. Left-hander Cole Hamels started things off with six hitless innings that required 108 pitches. Manager Ryne Sandberg then turned to lefty Jake Diekman and righties Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon for an inning apiece to close out the historic win.
The quartet teamed for five walks -- all of them issued by Hamels -- while striking out 12. It was the first combined no-no in Phillies history and the franchise's 12th no-hitter of any kind. It was also just the 11th combined no-no in Major League history, the first since six Mariners pitchers held the Dodgers hitless in June 2012.
Before Halladay, the last Phillies pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Kevin Millwood, who did so against the Giants on April 27, 2003.
If some prominent Phillies pitchers are not among those to have thrown no-hitters, it's likely because, as Millwood said, luck plays a big role in throwing a no-no.
"It was one of those special days, and I don't plan on doing it every time out, but it was a lot of fun," Millwood said at the time. "I've had a couple of other shots that I've lost in the seventh inning, and today I got through that and made it. ... Today was my day, and I got lucky."
Case in point: Milwood's bid for back-to-back no-hitters was broken up on the first pitch of his next start.
Millwood's masterpiece was the Phillies' ninth no-hitter. The first was thrown by Charles Ferguson on Aug. 29, 1885.
Jim Bunning probably owns the most famous no-hitter in Phillies history, having been the only Phils pitcher to throw a perfect game. That was on June 21, 1964.
There were no 24-hour sports news channels or websites then, and Roberts said it was more of a personal accomplishment at the time than it was one celebrated by the masses.
"I really didn't get involved in those things," said Roberts, whose one-hit games included one in which the only hit was a leadoff home run and another that was broken up in the ninth inning. "There's much more publicity with all the coverage now, with television and everything now, than there was when we played."
Other Phillies who have thrown no-hitters include Tommy Greene (1991), Terry Mulholland, (1990) , Rick Wise (1971), Johnny Lush (1906), Charles Fraser (1903) and Red Donahue (1898).
Stephen Fastenau and Andrew Simon are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less