Arrieta No-Hits Hapless Reds

EP-160429613.jpg

I had no intention of blogging today, but then…

Look, it’s no mystery that the Cincinnati Reds are just plain awful.

Please don’t tell me that they are 8-8.

Zach Buchanan at the Cincinnati Enquirer points out how the Chicago Cubs are “light years ahead” of the rest of the league with a plus-60 run differential this far while the next best team (the Washington Nationals) are just plus-31.

But then he says everybody should calm down and remember that the Reds are 8-8.

If he’s going to point out the Cubs’ run differential, he might want to take a look at his own team’s as well.

The Reds have averaged 3.9 runs scored per game while allowing a league-worst 5.9 per game.

You don’t average being outscored by 2 full runs and finish the season .500.

They have a Pythagorean record of 5-11, which is a more accurate representation of their talent level.

Their last four wins have each been by 1-run margins.

By contrast, four of their eight losses have been by 7 runs or more.

Ouch.

That’s not to take anything away from Jake Arrieta, who has pitched like Superman for the last several years now.

He’s off to a 4-0 start with a 0.87 ERA.

Take on his last 28 starts from 2015 to give us a full-season of 32 starts and you get 23-4 with a 1.50 ERA.

He has made 24 consecutive quality starts in the regular season. In that stretch, he’s gone 20-1 with a 0.86 ERA. (The only loss was when Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter against the Cubbies.)

So he’s been doing alright, that Jake guy.

My favorite moment from the post-game interview with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies on the Cubs’ TV crew was Arrieta pointing out some of the superstitions surrounding throwing no-hitters: “Business as usual, other than ‘Javy’ (Javier Baez) was in my spot before the eighth inning, so I kind of gave him a little hell for that, told him to never do that again.”

David Ross caught the first no-hitter of his career in this, his final season. This shower is pretty spectacular.

EP-160429613-ross.jpg

“Grandpa Rossy” came into the interview room towards the tail end of Arrieta’s session with the media, saying “I didn’t want any questions — I just want a picture” then sitting down for photos with his pitcher.

Remember April 11th, when Brandon Finnegan started for the Reds against the Cubs and took a no-hitter into the 7th inning?

Neither do the Cubs’ batters.

In a merciless outburst, Chicago racked up 5 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walk in 4 innings of work for Finnegan, who fell to 1-1 on the season.

Relievers Tim Melville and Drew Hayes each allowed 4 runs in 2 innings of work.

The final score was 16-0.

Arrieta himself had a pair of hits. Ross homered and scored three runs. Kris Bryant had four hits and homered twice (4). Anthony Rizzo homered. Ben Zobrist had his first Cubs’ homer and was a triple shy of the cycle.

All along I was watching the game and feeling a little bad for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who we know wants to protect Arrieta’s arm and make sure he has bullets left in it for October baseball.

This violates a maxim of baseball, assuming that you will get to the playoffs. But with a 12-4 start to the season and the way this roster is built, it’s about as safe a bet as you can get. Still, no guarantees…

With the team running away with it, there was no reason to leave Arrieta in. It was a perfect opportunity to rest his arm, pull him after 6 or 7 innings only having thrown maybe 80-90 pitches.

Instead, Maddon had to leave Arrieta in and just sort of wait and see what happened.

Couldn’t help but wonder if part of him was thinking “please just give up a hit so I can get you out of there.”

But Arrieta was not to be denied.

There was some good material in the Twitter-verse following the no-no, including love between the Arrieta’s family and Ross and the Los Angeles Dodgers (victims of Arrieta’s 2015 no-hitter) consoling the Reds.

His 2nd no-hitter in as many seasons is in the books and the Cubs are on a nice roll, taking advantage of a their cupcake April schedule.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s