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Davies, Cubs’ bullpen combine for MLB’s 7th no-hitter originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

LOS ANGELES — Still think Zach Davies isn’t a key member of a playoff rotation?

Davies had six no-hit innings of response to that notion for anyone watching late Thursday night as he and the Cubs’ three-headed, late-inning bullpen monster of Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combined on the seventh no-hitter in major league baseball this season.

It added up to a 4-0 win at Dodger Stadium in the opener of a key 10-game road trip.

It already ties the post-19th-century record for most no-hitters in a season — also done in 2012, 1991 and 1990.

That doesn’t count the no-hitter thrown by Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner earlier this season in an official, seven-inning game during a doubleheader. Because it wasn’t nine innings, he didn’t get credit for an official no-hitter.

And it’s not even halfway through the season.

The season’s first no-hitter since the crackdown began this week on “sticky stuff” pitchers have used on baseball’s to increase spin rate in recent years only underscored the historic dearth of hitting during an age of fast-increasing strikeout rates — and the reason MLB has a team of officials at work on solutions for the trend.

On this night, Davies walked five and needed 94 pitches to get through his six innings — explaining much of the reason manager David Ross lifted him for pinch-hitter (Jake Marisnick) with two on and one out in the top of the seventh inning, with a three-run lead.

Marisnick singled, and the Cubs added a run for the final score.

It was the first no-hitter at Dodger Stadium since Jake Arrieta in 2015 on the way to a Cy Young Award.