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Good morning, frents!
If you went to bed early, don't have Marquee Network or both, here's some fun news to start your day: Four Cubs pitchers threw a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last night!
Here's the screencap from the 4-0 victory to prove it:
If Craig Kimbrel looks like a guy who's surprised to be in the middle of a celebration, it's because he told Marquee Network's Elise Menaker that he and other members of the bullpen didn't even know it was a no-hitter until he saw Willson Contreras' reaction after the final out.
Maybe it's because there were Dodgers runners on base all night?
Starter Zach Davies walked five batters in six innings but didn't allow a hit before being lifted for a pinch batter after 94 pitches.
Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Kimbrel all walked one batter apiece but didn't allow a hit either to complete an Edwin Jacksonesque, eight-walk, 139-pitch no-hitter.
I'm usually not a fan of combined no-hitters, but I love that this Cubs team got one. The bullpen has converted solid starts into victories all year long and now they were able to bring a no-hitter home, too.
Plus, there are few better ways to start a difficult 10-game road trip than with a no-hitter against the defending World Series champs.
A couple of fun facts before we get into our regularly scheduled newsletter:
- Dodgers starter Walker Buehler was the starting pitcher in 2018 when Los Angeles threw a combined no-no of its own.
- Combined with Jake Arrieta's no-hitter in 2015, the Cubs have thrown the last two no-hitters at Dodger Stadium.
- They've also thrown the last two at Miller Park (Carlos Zambrano in 2008 and Alec Mills in 2020) but haven't thrown one at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas in 1972.
- Thursday's no-no was the seventh of 2021 (which ties the MLB record) but the first since May 19.
Scottie vs KD
We're about to start getting a lot of Scottie Pippen headlines.
Actually, they're already here. Pippen has a tell-all book coming out in November and his bourbon brand launched in Chicago this week.
Which means he's already deep into the type of awkward ax-grinding we've all come to know and love him for.
If you haven't already, check out the opening round fireworks from his Q&A with GQ writer Tyler R. Tynes on Thursday.
Scottie was his usual bruised self with Tynes, taking aim at the idea that the Bulls were MJ's team, saying there was racism involved in Phil Jackson's decision to give that last shot to Toni Kukoc and mocking Charles Barkley for being fake tough.
"He only got arrested for throwing some little white guys out of a window," Pippen said of Barkley. "I ain’t never seen him fight a Black man unless there were referees around."
The biggest kerfluffle, however, was saved for Pippen's comments on Kevin Durant, who was recently ousted from the playoffs despite his best effort to drag a depleted Nets squad past the Bucks.
Among his comments on KD:
- "He could’ve easily made that three, killed them in regulation, and we wouldn’t have been talking about this. But I knew going into overtime, he wasn’t gonna make it. He was taking all the shots."
- "A two-time MVP. In the Finals. [Laughs.] That’s good when you’ve got Steph Curry leading the troops. But when you’re leading the troops, you gotta know how to lead and win. And KD, as great as his offense was, it turned out to be his worst enemy because he didn’t know how to play team basketball when it came down to it."
- "LeBron James would’ve figured out how to beat them and he wouldn’t have been exhausted and he may not have taken the last shot ... But he doesn’t have what LeBron has."
Like most of Scottie's NBA analysis — much of which I enjoy — there was some truth mixed into his back-in-my-day approach.
And if Durant was like anyone else, he probably would've let the comments pass. Pippen's public persona has always been so rooted in little brotherism that we've followed Michael Jordan's lead and usually just let him battle any slight, real or imagined.
But this is KD, the sensitive superstar who tweets back at Twitter eggs, so it didn't take him long to respond.
I gotta admit: It's kind of fun having the Bulls involved in league beef again, even if it's a championship-era player.
And even if it's the Bulls player who's in the wrong.
In relegating KD to LeBron's shadow, Scottie is doing the same thing that's been done to him and MJ for decades.
Not to mention that you really can't fault someone for teaming with Steph Curry and Draymond Green when you did the same with Michael Jordan and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman.
(Scottie also couldn't win with Hakeem Olajuwon/Charles Barkley or lift a couple of those good Blazers squads out of the Western Conference.)
Still, if Scottie's media tour is just beginning, imagine what we might be in for once those book excerpts start circling? Ticking off Durant is one thing, but it's going to be a different story altogether if he actually says something to get the GOAT's goat.
How many points did Scottie score in his highest-scoring game?
News and Results
Sky 91, Liberty 68: Making history
That's a franchise-record seven straight wins for the 9-7 Sky, who were led by Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields both scoring 18. Candace Parker had a 12-11 double-double and the Sky are still undefeated with her in the lineup.
- The Sky currently own the fourth-best record in the league and have four games remaining before the Olympic break starts.
- The tweets were coming from beside the court! Kevin Durant attended this game in Brooklyn (while wearing a Sox hat, no less).
- Unreal job by Danny Parkins and the 670 crew for raising over $660K in the 24-hour radiothon. Tribune
- ESPN has Ayo Dosunmu getting drafted by the Nuggets at No. 26 while CBS has the Illinois guard going to the Clippers a pick earlier. Kofi Cockburn does not appear in either mock. ESPN, CBS Sports
- Jeff Agrest thinks Pat Foley is the best broadcaster in Chicago sports history. Sun-Times
- The great Bruce Miles has a new site that you should check out. I'm looking forward to as many Wrigley Field pressbox stories as he can give us. (Write Out Of The Pressbox)
- McDonalds is testing out automated drive-thrus at 10 Chicago-area restaurants and getting a success rate of 85 percent. Anyone come across one of these? CNBC
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Trivia answer: 47 in a 134-123 win over the Denver Nuggets on February 18, 1997. Here's the box score. MJ had 12 that night.