Jake Arrieta just threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs. Arrieta dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday (August 30), putting together the best start of his career. Arrieta also walked only one batter, nearly pitching a perfect game as the Cubs try to secure a spot in the 2015 MLB Playoffs.
The game was extended by a lot of Cubs hitting, with the team posting 13 hits on the night. Though they could only muster two runs for the starting pitcher, they wore out the opposing Dodgers yet again. It might have also allowed Arrieta enough rest between innings to prolong his night.
Arrieta needed only 116 pitches (80 of which were strikes) to notch his 17th victory of the season. That 17-6 record, along with a 2.11 ERA might have him right back in the race for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award. Zack Greinke of the Dodgers was the favorite coming into this game, so it was only fitting that he got to watch the game from the opposing dugout.
It’s simply amazing how good Jake Arrieta has been for the Chicago Cubs after struggling for several years with the Baltimore Orioles. Last season, he posted a 10-5 record, a 2.53 ERA, and a 0.989 WHIP over 25 starts with the Cubs. Those numbers were already pretty amazing, but he has improved in nearly every pitching category during the 2015 MLB season.
Maybe more important than this pitching performance itself is that the Cubs were able to completely shut down the Dodgers. These are two teams very likely to make the 2015 MLB Playoffs, with a chance that they could even meet up in the second round. Currently, the Cubs are the second wild card team in the NL, trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates by five full games in the wild card race and also the NL Central. They are five games ahead of the San Francisco Giants, which is the only other team really threatening to win a wild card.
It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Chicago Cubs, with Kris Bryant hitting home runs, Anthony Rizzo showing he could be in the MVP discussion, and the team winning enough games to be a real threat in the Central. Adding a Jake Arrieta no-hitter on top of it all seems almost like spoiling a fan base. If any group of fans deserved to be spoiled, it’s certainly the Cubs after the long wait this team has had since its last World Series.
[Image Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]