With the July 31 non-waiver deadline approaching, the Philadelphia lefty pitched his first no-hitter and the 13th in Phillies history in Saturday's 5-0 win over the hometown Chicago Cubs.
Hamels' teammates mobbed him near the mound after the final out.
Hamels, 31, shared a no-hitter with relief pitchers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and closer Jonathan Papelbon on Sept. 1, 2014 at Atlanta, tossing six no-hit innings.
But Saturday was all about Hamels, who has been linked to several teams this season, including the Cubs, Boston, Texas and Los Angeles Dodgers. Toronto, St. Louis and the New York Yankees reportedly could also make a play.
Hamels, who had a 2.48 earned-run average through July 5, had allowed 14 earned runs in his two previous starts for a 19.89 ERA, but he was spot-on Saturday, walking two and striking out 13 while throwing 83 of his 129 pitches for strikes.
In the ninth inning, Hamels got Cubs rookie shortstop to ground out, struck out veteran centre-fielder Dexter Fowler to strike out looking and watched National League rookie of the year candidate Kris Bryant fly out to Phillies centre-fielder Odubel Herrera. The final out was a bit of an adventure as Herrera stumbled on the warning track while battling the sun before making the catch.
Herrera also made another gem to preserve the no-hitter in the eighth, running a long way into the left-centre field gap to grab David Ross' fly and then spilled onto the warning track.
Hamels' only blemishes on the day were a walk to Fowler to lead off the bottom of the first inning and another free pass to the speedster with two out in the sixth. In between, Hamels retired 17 straight batters.
It was the third no-no in the NL this season. San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston no-hit the New York Mets on June 9 and 11 days later Washington ace Max Scherzer accomplished the feat in a 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh.
The Phillies have the worst record in the majors at 36-63, and several contending teams are interested in Hamels.
Perhaps more interesting than which team acquires the southpaw is how much it would eat of the 2008 World Series MVP's remaining contract as he is due to make $23.5 million US per year until his contract expires in 2018, with a team option for 2019.
Hamels is very likely to be dealt as the Phillies want to expedite their rebuilding process. The demand for starting pitching is high, so general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. might be able to get the top-20 prospect he is believed to be seeking.Suggest a correction