Mulholland Drive

It was the first Phillies no-hitter since Rick Wise beat the Reds 4-0 (and hit two HRs himself) in Cincinnati on June 23, 1971.

It was the first Phillies no-hitter at home since Red Donahue blanked the Boston Beaneaters 5-0 on July 8, 1898– at the Baker Bowl.

It was the only nine-inning no-hitter in Veterans Stadium history until Kevin Millwood no-hit the Giants 1-0 on April 27, 2003. (Pascual Perez’s rain-shortened 5-inning no-hitter doesn’t officially count.)

And it was one error shy of being the only perfect game in Veterans Stadium history (which would have been the 11th perfect game in the modern era; 8 more have occurred since 1990).

Terry Mulholland threw 105 pitches, 75 for strikes, with 8 Ks and no walks in the Phillies’ 6-0 win over San Francisco on August 15, 1990. He also went 1-for-3 with an RBI. He would end the 1990 season 9-10, 3.34 (114 ERA+) with 6 complete games, and would then win 41 more games in a Phillies uniform (with a Halladayesque 27 CG!) the next three seasons before being traded to the Yankees for Kevin Jordan, Ryan Karp, and Bobby Munoz after the 1993 season– a trade the Phillies actually won:

Mulholland as a Yankee, 1994: 6-7, 6.49, 71 ERA+, -6.7 VORP as a pitcher (worst on team)
Munoz as a Phillie, 1994: 7-5, 2.67, 161 ERA+, 25.9 VORP as a pitcher (second-best on team, behind only Danny Jackson)

Bill James offered an unusually brief overview of Mulholland in the Baseball Book 1990:

He’s a perennial prospect, which is a subtle distinction from being no prospect at all. I’ve seen very little about him that I like.

When he retired as an Arizona Diamondback at 43 in 2006, Mulholland was 124-142, 4.41 (94 ERA+) with 46 CG and 10 shutouts, mediocre numbers (other than the age 43) that obscure his years as Phillies ace (62-57, 3.81, 99 ERA+, 38 CG, including an 8-7, 4.66 return to the Phils in 1996 that ended with a trade to Seattle for Desi Relaford– another trade the Phils won).

He was no Curt Schilling– nor was he Jose de Jesus (in terms of pure “stuff”)– but one night twenty years ago, Terry Mulholland was almost perfect.

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