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No-hitter! Four Phillies pitchers combine to blank the Braves

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Four Phillies pitchers combined to no-hit the Braves in Atlanta today. Tt was the 12th no-hitter in franchise history. And the first ever combined no-no for Philly.

Cole Hamels took the first six innings, Jake Diekman Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon handled the seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Hamels pitched in some early trouble, walking five guys, but the Braves stranded a lot of runners and never threatened. The relievers shut the Braves down completely, retiring the final nine batters of the game in order. Overall, Phillies pitchers struck out 12 Braves hitters.

Despite it being a 7-0 game heading into the bottom of the ninth, Ryne Sandberg called on Papelbon to lock things down. Can’t say as I blame him. This has been a lost season in so many ways for the Phillies and, recently, there has been some internal strife on the team. Why not do your best to give everyone something to be happy about?

And the Phillies leave the ballpark happy, today. Five RBI for Ben Revere, a no-hitter against a division rival and a 7-0 victory. A happy Labor Day for Philly, indeed.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.