The wonder of no-hitters has yet to diminish, even though 23 have been thrown since the start of the 2012 season. Two of the last three have been spun by Jake Arrieta, whose career renaissance continued at the expense of the Reds, who had not been no-hit since June 23, 1971 – a span of 7,109 games.
The A’s (3,914 games as of Friday) are up next … and happen to be on the Cubs’ schedule Aug. 5-7.
Good luck with that.
- This piece on FiveThirtyEight from Sept. 2015 is worth a re-share as author Rob Arthur explained how Arrieta was not your normal ace. Arthur dissected some of the mechanical changes that helped unleash Arrieta’s untapped potential.
- A tweak in mechanics have helped Arrieta turn into the King of Weak Contact. Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron writes Arrieta’s ability to simultaneously control the strike zone and get batters to make weak contact (something he has done at an elite level since 2014) made Thursday’s no-no “fitting.”
- Not only did Arrieta have strike zone command and weak contact going for him on Thursday, it also appears as if he had the backing of defensive shifting metrics.
- Leave it to the forward-thinking Cubs to create a no-hitter protocol prior to the 2015 season, which has come in handy during Arrieta’s two no-hitters. Pitching coach Chris Bosio credits Theo Epstein with the idea that establishes parameters for pitchers carrying no-hit bids late into games while being observant of pitch counts and respectful of the greater goal of being fresh for October.
- So, how exactly did the Cubs celebrate Arrieta’s accomplishment? With pizza and beer in Dexter Fowler’s suite. Like the accomplishment itself, it sounds like the celebration was a team effort. I can’t help but wonder if it was as epic as Arrieta’s first:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 22, 2016
- Still not impressed? You will be when you see Arrieta’s Strat-O-Matic card reflecting his last 24 starts.
- Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago takes a look at how the Arrieta trade came together and turned into a blockbuster. Among gems uncovered by Mooney is Buck Showalter’s influence on player personnel moves in Baltimore and his prior relationship with Scott Feldman from when they were both in Texas and a hat tip to special assistant Kyle Evans, who pitched with Jeremy Guthrie (who pitched with Arrieta in Baltimore) while both were in Cleveland.
- The Tribune’s Paul Sullivan also looks back at the Arrieta trade that brought more than the Cubs had bargained for and uncovered some nuggets from the deal. Sullivan notes Arrieta’s work with Iowa pitching coach Mike Mason upon his arrival to Triple-A after the deal that helped him return to a delivery he was comfortable with, highlights the fact that the Arrieta trade wasn’t even the big deal of the day, as the Cubs had shipped former closer Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers on July 2, 2013. Sullivan also brings up how time Arrieta spent in Iowa helped the Cubs gain an extra year of control.
- With hindsight being 20/20, this tweet from the day of the deal seems like an undersell:
Cubs send Feldman, Clevenger to Orioles for pair of pitchers http://t.co/Pqu32YCD0S
— ChiTribSports (@ChiTribSports) July 2, 2013
- And the award for the best use of emojis in response to the Orioles’ announcement of the Arrieta trade goes to Angels farmhand Miguel Hermosillo:
- And one last share of Brett’s visit to Great American Ballpark, which turned into a no-hitter experience: