Arrieta Throws No-Hitter

Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs last night.

Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs last night.

Odds are that you heard about this already, but if not… Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta fired a 12-strikeout no-hitter last night.

I feel a bit guilty for thinking it, but there’s a part of me that’s always waiting for Arrieta to get busted for doctoring the baseball.

The movement on his pitches is consistently filthy. Something is up in the batter’s wheelhouse at 90 miles per hour and then suddenly drops three feet. It’s ridiculous.

Anyhow, kudos to Arrieta who was a highly-touted 5th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, then a bust, then dealt to the Cubs as part of their Sabermetric-driven sign-and-trade of Scott Feldman, and has since then been a stud.

In 63 starts in Baltimore, Arrieta was 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA. (Not a typo.) He had a 1.47 WHIP, allowing 9.3 hits per 9 innings and walking 4.

In 61 starts in Chicago, he’s 31-13 with a 2.48 ERA. (Also not a typo.) He has a 0.98 WHIP, allowing 6.3 hits per 9 and walking 2.5.

Night and day.

If not for guys in Los Angeles named Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, Arrieta might be the top name in the discussion for the National League Cy Young award. He might still be, with one more month to go.

W-L ERA SO/9 WAR
LAD Greinke 14-3 1.61 8.2 6.7
LAD Kershaw 11-6 2.24 11.5 6.4
CHC Arrieta 17-6 2.11 9.3 5.9

(NOTE: WAR above is the average from BaseballReference and Fangraphs.)

The no-no wasn’t without controversy, of course, as Starlin Castro was charged with an error in the bottom of the 3rd inning when he was eaten up by a hard grounder that short-hopped him.

I’m going to refrain from voicing too strong an opinion one way or the other on that call. I’ve watched it four times and keep waffling on it. I’ve definitely seen it called both ways in the past.

One thing I definitely have an opinion on is something that I heard on sports radio this morning. “If it hadn’t have been a no-hitter situation, that would have been called a base hit.”

It was the 3rd inning. That seems a little premature to get excited about a no-hitter. It’s not like they originally scored it a single and then, after 6 innings, “changed their mind”. It was earlier. To that point he had thrown just 2.2 innings of no-hit ball, just like probably a hundred pitchers have done this season alone. Having a no-hitter after 2.2 innings of work is a pretty commonplace situation.

Also, the game was in Los Angeles, where the official scorekeeper would be more likely to score that a single so as to help pad the stats of a Dodgers’ player.

The story-line that he felt pressured to score it an error to keep the no-hitter intact? It makes no sense on several fronts. Let’s move on.

It was the first no-hitter for a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano‘s 2008 “road” game (played in Milwaukee) against the Houston Astros.

Here’s all 27 outs.

* * * * * * * * *

Division Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 84 46 W2
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 50 4.5 L1
Chicago Cubs 74 55 9.5 W1
Milwaukee Brewers 55 75 29.0 W1
Cincinnati Reds 53 76 30.5 L1

Wild Card Standings

W L GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 50 +5.0
Chicago Cubs 74 55
San Francisco Giants 69 61 5.5
Washington Nationals 66 63 8.0

* * * * * * * * *

Schedule

53-76 REDS Lorenzen (3-8, 5.46)
74-55 CUBS Hendricks (6-6, 4.117)
7:05 PM CT
66-63 Nationals Gonzalez (9-7, 4.11)
84-46 CARDINALS Lackey (11-8, 2.92)
7:15 PM CT

* * * * * * * * *

National League Ranks

Batting Pitching
St. Louis 10th 1st
Pittsburgh 5th 2nd
Chicago 6th 6th
Milwaukee 11th 12th
Cincinnati 12th 11th
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