The Arizona Diamondbacks had the sports world buzzing Sunday after quite the one-two pitching performance in a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.
"It's going to be hard to top what we just saw from Zac Gallen," television play-by-play man Steve Berthiaume said after Gallen's 1-hit complete game shutout of the Braves.
Oh, the irony of Gallen flirting with a no-hitter in game one, after which he talked about the validity of a seven-inning no-hitter just before Madison Bumgarner took the mound.
"I didn't know that it didn't count," Gallen said of the MLB rule that it is not an official no-hitter if it happens in a seven-inning game. "But it wouldn't really counted in my book anyway. I turned to Vogter [Stephen Vogt] after and he was like, 'Man, that would have been sick.' And I was like, 'Forget that, I want a legit one."
"Those last two innings are definitely a lot more intensity, a little bit more concentration," Gallen added.
Well, we didn’t have to wait long to really spark the debate. Bumgarner faced the minimum number of batters in game two. The only baserunner allowed came on a Nick Ahmed error. Bumgarner struck out seven in his no-hit outing.
"I want to say two things and then I'm going to go celebrate with the guys," Bumgarner said on the telecast afterwards. "I want to thank the shadows in Atlanta, they helped me out a good bit, that's pretty awesome. And I want to thank Rob Manfred for making these seven-inning games."
See, the seven-inning doubleheader came into play last year with the COVID-19 shortened season rules, but it’s a rule from 1991 and former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent that says an official no-hitter must span at least nine innings.
We know Gallen’s stance, but what about MadBum and the rest of the D-backs? Was that a no-hitter?
"I don't know," said Bumgarner. "I mean, it's obviously a cool feeling."
"Seven innings, nine innings, it's a no-hitter," said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. "I'll remember this day for the rest of my life, as well as I'm sure everybody inside of the dugout."
"We were told it was a seven-inning game and we gave up no hits in seven innings. That's how I'm going to look at it," said catcher Carson Kelly. "It's pretty freakin awesome, that's all I say."
The celebration looked like a no-hitter. All that was missing was Kelly jumping into Bumgarner’s arms.
"I wanted to stay professional because if I did that, he probably would have punched me right in the mouth," Kelly joked. "I'm just so happy for him, I really am."
Big celebrations aren't exactly Bumgarner's thing, no matter the moment.
"I like to keep it pretty low-key," he said. "They definitely didn't, but that's fun and I appreciate that, too. It's a pretty special moment for all of us. I'm just blessed and fortunate to be able to do that and be a part of this."