Mills ranked No. 16 in Shab’s history on Sunday afternoon in a 12–0 win over Brewers at Millers Park. Once Martin was followed at the University of Tennessee, Mills now finds his name on Chicago’s no-hitter list, along with Jake Arita, Carlos Zambrano, Ken Holtzman, and others.
• box score
“I’m just proud of the person who can tell you to never give up,” Mills said. “Never stop playing. Never tell people what you can and can’t do and just keep perseverance.”
A 22nd-round draft pick in 2012, Mills was acquired from the Royals in a February 2017 trade for Minor League outfielder Donny Davis, hardly registered on the Hot Stove radar. Mills was scheduled to appear in the bullpen this season, but Jose Quintana received an opening day rotation due to an injury.
Now, here were the National League Central-Leading Cubs, forming a festive crowd around a beaming mills on Miller Park mound.
“One thing that tells me about Alec,” said Cubs manager David Ross, “is no matter what position I put him in this year, he has responded to the expectations that we have for him.”
• Stats, Mills’ surprising no-hitter facts
Mills’ no-hitter was the first since Arita’s gem on 21 April 2016 against the Reds. It was also the second Cubs number-no at Miller Park, though he – on September 14, 2008 – came through Carlos Nambrano in a series that moved from Houston to Milwaukee due to Hurricane Ike against Astro.
• 2 Miller no in Cubs. There is only 1 vs crew!
For the final out, Mills induced a bowler off the bat of Jas Peterson, who bounced it to Xavier Bays. The shortstop rounded the ball and let out a scream as he crossed the diamond to first baseman Anthony Rezzo, who was celebrating.
“I wanted the ball to come to me,” Bays said. “It’s incredible. It’s something we’re going to be a part of for life. It’s a championship kind of thing. No one can take it away from you. So I’m really, really happy that I’m Was part of it.
“Hopefully, he will do it again in the future.”
Baseball is incredible. Alec Mills was not admitted to Martin at the University of Tennessee. He went to practice one day and told the coach that he was good enough to pitch in the team. An attempt was made. 22nd round pick. Today, he threw a no-hitter for it @Cubs. @MLBNetwork @MLB
– John Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 13, 2020
No batsman will ever get out of the box feeling strong, but Mills has a knack for disappointing hitters in the same manner as Kyle Hendrix. Wright has a fastball that hits at speeds of 90 mph on a good day. He relies on command and confusion. Mills’ curbballs swam at an average speed of around 66 mph, making it one of the slowest breaking balls in the MLB.
During Sunday’s game, Mills felt his four-seamer was a bit different. After a discussion with catcher Victor Carratini, the right-hand man opted to have more bends on that curve than usual. Mills painted it 20 percent of the time (compared to 13.6 percent on the season), giving Milwaukee a different look than expected.
“I felt that slow Kyrball was a really good pitch for them,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “He threw good strikes with that pitch. He added enough movement to his fastball and enough movement that he kept us off the barrel for the most part.
“You congratulate him, obviously. He showed a great game.”
In his nine historic innings, Mills scored five runs and scored three runs in 114 pitches appearances. Five strikes were the lowest of a Cubs no-hitter as Holtzman had none against the Braves on August 19, 1969. Dallas Brayden (2010 perfect game) made five swinging strikes for Mills for the shortest time in a no-no. , LLC began tracking pitches in 1988.
The closest the Brewers came in a hit was a deep drive by Jedd Giorko that was tracked in the second inning by center fielder Ian Happ and a groundout to Baoz which was almost defeated by Avisa Garcia in the sixth. Garcia threw his arms towards the arm, saying he felt he was safe with an infilt hit, but Bays’ throw reached Rizzo’s time.
“We know how Alec Mills likes to work,” Caratini said via Cub translator Will Nadal. “Our plan was to attack, find that contact and we were successful with it, thankfully.”
Ross said Mills was chasing history, arriving in the sixth, when the manager was looking to perhaps get out of some regular games with such a large lead. Ross contacted veteran outfielder Jason Heyward and offered him a chance to exit the game.
Hayward wanted to live in Mills.
“He told me he was riding with Milsey,” Ross said. “Until Milesy comes out, don’t take her out.”
After Hayward’s reaction to Ross, Mills struggled to find the words as some emotion took over. The pitcher then told a story of how Hayward was the first player to introduce himself to Mills when the right-handed Cubs joined.
“Jason has grown up,” Mills said. “It matters a lot. That kind of kills me. That really means a lot.”
After being eliminated from the finals, Caratini and Mills hugged on the mound, and Rizzo was next to join the hug after the rest of the players arrived. After the scene was silenced, Rizzo handed Mills the final out ball, and Wilson Contreras gave the pitcher his glasses, which were dropped to the ground.
Mills said, “I want to watch the video. I don’t know if I’ll actually celebrate.” “It was kind of real. I don’t know what I really did, to be honest with you. I don’t remember.”
As the final play was being performed, Mills actually turned to Rizzo, extended his arms towards the sky and thrust his tongue out before breaking into a wide smile.
From the game Ball Rizz
Wrong glasses from willie aced pic.twitter.com/gaAkMzIRqX
– Chicago Cubs (@ Cake) September 13, 2020
Soon after the game, Mills did not get a chance to check his phone. The pitcher laughingly said that veteran second baseman Jason Kipnis told him that he had actually taken a video of all the messages and calls the players had made when they went to the clubhouse.
Mills said that the first order of his business would be to call his wife, and then his parents.
He traveled there, which made history in Milwaukee.
“It’s just a proud moment,” Ross said. “That’s what you feel. You’re seeing adversity through someone, and really rewarding with my seat to work hard and get an opportunity and make the most of it.”