Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta has just thrown a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
The Cubs won 2-0. The only offense they needed was a first inning home run by Kris Bryant. Arrieta struck out 12 batters including striking out the side in the 9th. It was Arrieta’s 17th win of the season. He was 6-0 in the month of August.
I should mention that I predicted Arrieta would win the NL Cy Young Award prior to the beginning of the season.
I predicted this on the basis of Arrieta’s improvement last season in his first full campaign with the Cubs. I remember when Arrieta came up with the Baltimore Orioles. He had great stuff, but was unable to command it. But last year I saw a confidence in him I had not seen when he was with the O’s. When the Cubs acquired Jon Lester in the off-season I had a feeling that this would stimulate Arrieta’s competitive juices and that he would only get better. So while most pundits picked Clayton Kershaw to win his fourth Cy Young in five years, I went out on a limb and picked Arrieta. He won’t be a slam dunk. Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke is 14-3 and leading the NL in ERA at 1.61. But Arrieta has more wins and more strikeouts. If Arrieta wasn’t in the Cy Young conversation before tonight, he sure is now.
As for the Dodgers, they have been no-hit for the second time in 9 days. Houston Astros hurler Mike Fiers fired one against them on August 21st . Four other pitchers have thrown no-hitters in 2015: Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, Cole Hamels in his final appearance with the Philadelphia Phillies (against the Cubs; Arrieta took the loss in that game) and Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners.
An interesting footnote. Jessica Mendoza was filling in for the suspended Curt Schilling in the ESPN booth. It marks the first time a woman has ever been in the booth on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. The only other woman who broadcasts baseball is Suzyn Waldman who does radio broadcast for the New York Yankees. Needless to say, Mendoza will never forget this night. Neither will Jake Arrieta.
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