Chicago Cubs: Ranking Alec Mills’ no-hitter in history

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 13, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 13, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

The 2nd best game score (96), goes to Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.

Zambrano’s no-hitter is recalled today mostly for its locality. He shut down the Houston Astros in a game relocated by the league from Houston to Milwaukee’s Miller Field because of a hurricane approaching Houston.

Chicago won the Sept. 14 game 5-0. Zambrano struck out 10  Astros and walked only one, Michael Bourn, in the fourth inning.  Houston’s only other baserunner was Hunter Pence, who was hit by a Zambrano pitch in the fifth.

Alfonso Soriano gave Zambrano an early advantage, hitting a leadoff home run in the top of the first. The Chicago Cubs, who led the division by seven and one-half games, got seven hits, first baseman Derrek Lee driving in two runs.

The entire two-game stay in Milwaukee was a wasted trip for Houston’s offense. One day after Zambrano’s no-hitter, Chicago left-hander Ted Lilly beat the Astros 6-1 on just one hit, Mark Loretta’s seventh-inning single. Houston’s eighth-inning run came on two walks, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.

The ace of the Cubs staff in 2008, Zambrano finished the season at 14-6 and led the Cubs to a division title with a 97-64 record. He pitched for 12 seasons for the Cubs, going 125-81 before finishing his career in Miami.