On Sept. 14, 2008, Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano threw what would end up being the only no-hitter of his very good major-league career. Here's the final call, by Cubs radio crew Pat Hughes and the late, great Ron Santo:
Jeez, that was only 2008 and the low-def picture hurts my eyes.
All no-hitters are special and every game, by definition, is "unique," but this one stood out for one reason in particular. It was the Cubs' first no-no since 1972, but that's not what I mean.
This was a no-hitter on a neutral site. It was and still is the only no-hitter in MLB history that was thrown with no real home or road team. The Astros were technically "home" for the game, but it was played in Milwaukee, which is across the country from Houston and just a quick drive up the highway from Chicago. The crowd of a tick over 23,000 was mostly Cubs fans, so it certainly seemed like a Cubs' home game.
The reason this one was played in Milwaukee was due to damage and power outages in the Houston area from Hurricane Ike. The three-game series was set to take place in Houston Friday-Sunday (Sept. 12-14), but instead only two games (Sept. 14-15) were played, both in Milwaukee. Ted Lilly actually took a no-hitter for the Cubs into the seventh inning on Monday. Suffice it to say, the Astros' heads probably weren't really in the game on either day.
Still, a no-no is a no-no. Happy Anniversary to Big Z for one of MLB's oddest no-hitters.