‘Great trade!’: Lorenzen throws no-hitter for Phils

PHILADELPHIA — Michael Lorenzen threw the 14th no-hitter in Philadelphia Phillies history, a dazzling performance in only his second start with his new team, which beat the Washington Nationals 7-0 on Wednesday night.

Lorenzen, 31, struck out five, walked four and improved to 2-0 since he was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline for a minor leaguer. His 124 pitches — a career high — are the most by any pitcher in a game this season and the most in a solo no-hitter since Mike Fiers’ 131 in 2019.

Lorenzen retired Lane Thomas on a grounder to open the ninth and struck out Joey Meneses looking. The crowd of 30,406 erupted when Lorenzen retired Dominic Smith on a fly ball to end his first career complete game in 2 hours, 9 minutes. Lorenzen flipped his cap backward and was mobbed by his teammates in a rowdy celebration near the plate.

“I didn’t strike out the world in this game,” Lorenzen said. “When you are pitching, balls can land in different places. I just had God’s grace today.”

Lorenzen’s mother, Cheryl, and wife, Cassi, wept in the stands during the final out, with Cassi holding their 9-month-old-daughter, June. Lorenzen later held his daughter aloft on the field and smooched her on the cheek.

“It was incredible,” Lorenzen said. “Walking out for the seventh, eighth and ninth, man, these fans. I’ve never been part of an organization where fans are a part of the team. And they gave me that boost that I needed. … If you are feeling fatigued, you don’t feel it at all in front of these fans.”

Since opening in 2004, Citizens Bank Park had only seen the Phillies throw one no-hitter before Wednesday: Roy Halladay’s against Cincinnati in the National League Division Series on Oct. 6, 2010.

Lorenzen proved he can play a key role in leading the Phillies back to the postseason.

The Phillies acquired the right-hander to stabilize their rotation as the defending NL champions battled the San Francisco Giants for the top wild-card spot.

Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins and other Phillies clapped, laughed and yelled “great trade” as Dave Dombrowski, the team’s president of baseball operations, walked through the clubhouse shaking hands.

The Phillies hadn’t even thrown a complete game this season. Their most recent was last Aug. 25 when Aaron Nola blanked Cincinnati.

Lorenzen pushed his pitch count to the point where it was questionable if manager Rob Thomson would let him finish the game. But he kept the ball and became the first Phillies pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Cole Hamels on July 25, 2015, against the Chicago Cubs. Hamels, who threw 129 pitches in that game, retired last week.

Thomson said he talked to Lorenzen after the seventh and told the righty he had only about 20 more pitches left.

“You better get quick outs,” Thomson told him.

After a couple of labor-intensive innings early, Lorenzen settled down and made quick work of the Nationals.

“Honestly I was upset at myself for the first couple of innings, they were long innings, walking guys,” Lorenzen said. “And I knew I was just ruining my chances to go deep in this game. Just trying to buy some more innings and [Thomson] gave them to me. So hats off to him.”

The Nationals entered Wednesday owning the longest active streak of any franchise without being no-hit; the last no-hitter thrown against them, when they were the Montreal Expos, was David Cone’s perfect game with the New York Yankees on July 18, 1999. The franchise had not been no-hit since moving to Washington in 2005.

Lorenzen, an All-Star this season for the Tigers, threw a season-high eight innings of two-run ball in his Phillies debut last week and is the fourth pitcher over the past 30 seasons to throw a no-hitter within his first two games pitched for a franchise.

Lorenzen spent much of his career as a reliever for the Reds, but he’s been exclusively a starter for the Tigers and Los Angeles Angels the past couple seasons. Before Wednesday, his previous career high for pitches thrown in a game was 107, on April 29, 2015, against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It was the second no-hitter caught by J.T. Realmuto; he was also behind the dish for Edinson Vólquez’s no-hitter June 3, 2017, with the Marlins.

The no-hitter was the fourth in the majors this season. Houston‘s Framber Valdez threw one against Cleveland on Aug. 1. Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán pitched a perfect game at Oakland on June 28 and Matt Manning, Alex Lange and Jason Foley of Detroit threw a combined no-no against Toronto on July 8.

Lorenzen already has one big souvenir from the no-no: Philadelphia’s grounds crew dug up the rubber and presented it to the pitcher in the clubhouse.

The Nationals simply tipped their caps.

“I thought he threw pitches around the zone, not really in the middle of the zone, so he made it difficult for us,” Thomas said. “I thought he made good pitches when he needed to. Especially when his pitch count got high, I thought he threw some good pitches to get some soft contact.”

ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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