Jake Arrieta just gets more awesome with each start.
Thursday night in Cincinnati, he threw his second career no-hitter as the Cubs crushed the Reds 16-0.
There are a whole lot of fascinating facts about this one, so let's get started:
- It's Jake's second no-hitter in his last 11 regular-season starts dating back to last August, when he no-hit the Dodgers.
- It's the most runs scored by a winning team in a no-hitter since the pitching distance was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893. The only no-hitter in which there were more runs scored was on August 4, 1884, when future Hall of Famer Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons beat the Detroit Wolverines 18-0. Since 1900, the previous record for most runs by the winner in a no-hitter was 15, on September 6, 1905, when Frank Smith of the White Sox no-hit the Tigers 15-0.
- It reduced Jake's ERA to 0.87.
- Even with four walks -- twice as many as he'd allowed all year to date -- Jake's WHIP dropped to 0.677.
- The Cubs have outscored the Reds 35-6 in the four games the teams have played so far, winning all of them.
Best of all, from this Cub fan's standpoint, is that this no-hitter was against the Reds. Why? Because after the Cubs' no-hit streak was broken last summer by Cole Hamels, the Reds became the team with the longest active streak of not being no-hit, which dated back to June 23, 1971, when Rick Wise of the Phillies no-hit the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. That's a famous no-hitter because Wise pretty much singlehandedly beat the Reds, with the no-hitter and two home runs and three RBI.
The Reds had not been no-hit in 7,109 consecutive regular-season games, which was 811 short of the Cubs' mark of 7,920 games. That's one game more than five full seasons, so it wasn't imminent that the Reds threatened the Cubs' record, but it was getting... close. The Reds' streak does not include Roy Halladay's division-series no-hitter against them in 2010.
The Cubs' mark seems safe, for now. The new active leader in not being no-hit is the Oakland Athletics, who were last no-hit July 13, 1991 by Bob Milacki of the Orioles. Through Thursday, the A's streak stands at 3,913 consecutive games. That means it would take 24½ seasons for the A's to catch the Cubs.
I admit the no-hit streak is a curiosity more than anything else and obviously, winning is more important. But since the Cubs hold it, I'd like for it to last a while. It means the @RedsNoHitStreak Twitter account has to start over, just as our friend @CubsNoHitStreak did last summer.
Beyond Jake's no-hitter, the Cubs brought out the big bats on a night where batting practice was cancelled due to heavy pre-game rains. Fortunately, the rain passed out of the Cincinnati area and didn't interfere with the game.
Kris Bryant started the homer barrage in the first inning:
Bryant later hit a grand slam, the third of his career, and tied his career high in hits with four, and in RBI with six.
That wasn't the only long ball of the night, as Ben Zobrist (his first as a Cub), Anthony Rizzo and David Ross (his first as a Cub not as a pitcher) all went deep. Here's Rizzo's:
All told, the Cubs pounded out 18 hits and drew four walks in the 16-run outburst. The run and hit totals are both season highs and the 16 runs the most since the 17-0 pounding of the Indians last June 17.
I feel sorry for Addison Russell, the only Cub who did not participate in the offensive onslaught; he hit the ball hard four times, only to line into four outs. The BABIP gods were definitely not on Addy's side Thursday night, but given how squarely he hit the ball in this one, I'm sure the hits will drop for him soon.
Even Jake joined in on the offense, with two hits and a walk.
The Reds really never had a chance in this one, both because of the Cubs offense and their lack of hits; the Reds never had a runner past first base. Here's the final out and celebration:
Congratulations to Jake on his second career no-no and the incredible start he's had to his 2016 season. It's hard to contemplate, but this year could wind up being better than last year. Congratulations to Ross, too, on catching a no-hitter for the first time in his career.
Friday morning at the usual game recap time, I'll have a complete list of all Cubs no-hitters prior to this one.
And Friday evening, Jon Lester will try to make it five straight wins over the Reds this season when he takes the mound against Cincinnati's Jon Moscot.