Brewers stars Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader combine to fire 9th no-hitter of 2021 MLB season

Jace Evans
USA TODAY

This is officially the year of the no-hitter. 

Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes and star closer Josh Hader combined to throw the ninth no-hitter of this MLB season Saturday in a 3-0 win against Cleveland at Progressive Field.    

Burnes was brilliant, allowing no base-runners until issuing his only walk in the seventh inning. He struck out 14 over a career-high 115 pitches before giving way to Hader in the ninth.

“Anyone would want to keep pitching in that situation, but if there was anyone I would want out there for the ninth, it would be Josh Hader,” Burnes said of being pulled with three outs to go. “There were no nerves with him. It was more like a done deal when he came in.”

Hader indeed pitched a clean ninth to produce the Brewers' first no-hitter since Juan Nieves fired the only other one in franchise history on April 15, 1987. The Brewers' no-hitter drought was the second-longest active streak in baseball behind only, ironically, Cleveland. 

The nine no-hitters in MLB this year are more than any other year in the history of baseball, breaking the record set way back in 1884. 

The Brewers' no-hitter looked like it might be coming to an end as Cleveland's Owen Miller made hard contact off Burnes in the bottom of the eighth. But center fielder Lorenzo Cain made a spectacular play to preserve the no-hitter. 

“I was definitely on my horse, ready to go get that one,” Cain said after the game. “You need a little bit of everything to go right in a no-hitter.”

It was Burnes' final pitch of the night. 

“I had to fight pretty hard (with Brewers manager Craig Counsell) for the eighth to come back out, so I knew I had no shot for the ninth,” Burnes said.

Said Counsell of their conversation: "(Burnes) obviously was throwing the ball incredibly well. It was a masterpiece. I think it was a good conversation. He was adamant about going out there for the eighth inning, and I completely understood that.  

"From my perspective, he’s got a lot of innings ahead of him still this year, a lot of really important innings ahead of him this year, and I want to make sure he’s in the best possible position for those innings. He wanted to go out there, for sure, but I think he also understood.”

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes and relief pitcher Josh Hader pose for a picture after they threw a combined no-hitter in a 3-0 win against Cleveland at Progressive Field.

Seems like it. 

“I don’t think anyone’s going to be upset about putting a no-hitter in the books,” Burnes said after the game.   

Cleveland has now been no-hit three times this season, another new MLB record it probably doesn't like having. Incredibly, pitcher Zach Plesac has been on the mound all three times Cleveland has been no-hit this year.   

“I don’t even know if that makes sense to me,” Plesac said afterward. “That’s insane. I don’t know if it’s me or what.” 

San Diego pitcher Joe Musgrove began the no-hitter party in April with the first no-no in Padres history. No-hitters by the White Sox's Carlos Rodon, Orioles' John Means, Reds' Wade Miley, Tigers' Spencer Turnbull, Yankees' Corey Kluber, a combined effort from the Cubs, and Diamondbacks' Tyler Gilbert followed.   

Contributing: Associated Press and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel