Jake Arrieta wasn’t even throwing his best stuff last night. The Chicago Cubs pitcher even said “it felt sloppy.” But sloppiness be damned. Arrieta threw the first no-hitter of the 2016 season, as the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 16-0.
Arrieta’s catcher, David Ross, called him an “animal” Thursday night. And indeed that’s the way Arrieta has been performing lately. Over the past 16 starts, he has a 15-0 record, threw two no-hitters, and has an ERA of 0.53. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game right now, and well on his way to another historic year, after winning the National League Cy Young Award last season.
It was the 15th no-hitter in Cubs history. Arrieta is also the only player in Cubs history to throw a no-hitter two seasons in a row.
Winding up to throw his 119th pitch of the night, Arrieta popped up the Reds batter to right field to end the game. As Ross ran toward him, he kept yelling, “Thank you, thank you,” in Arrieta’s ear. This was the first no-hitter that Ross caught, one of his dreams fulfilled in his last season in the majors, the 39-year-old said.
Despite the high pitch count going into the late innings, Manager Joe Maddon said he felt Arrieta could go for the no-hitter around the sixth inning. As to not get in Arrieta’s head, he didn’t warm any pitchers up, nor did he ask him how he was feeling.