The newest member of the no-hitter club is Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta. Arrieta threw a masterful game on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers for everyone to see. The only thing preventing him from throwing a perfect game was a sixth inning walk to Jimmy Rollins. It took him 116 pitches (80 of those strikes) to complete the game and ended up striking out 12 batters.
After Arrieta’s historic game, he now becomes the favorite to win the 2015 National League Cy Young Award. But his season long stats are really what stand out in this race. Arrieta leads the major leagues in wins at 17, 2nd in ERA at 2.11 and seventh in strikeouts with 190. No other pitcher is in the top 10 of all three of these categories. The closest that come to this is San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, who is second in wins and sixth in strikeouts, while Los Angeles Dodgers Zack Greinke leads the major leagues in ERA at 1.61 and tied for seventh with 14 wins.
Even though this season is Arrieta’s best at the major league level, things started to click for him last season. He finished last season with a 10-5 record and a 2.53 ERA. The Key to this season is that he has been able to stay healthy. Arrieta’s success has been a work in progress since his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles back in 2010.
Arrieta was in Baltimore four seasons before being traded to the Cubs. Each year his ERA rose, starting at 4.66 in 2010 to 7.32 in 2014. The Cubs decided to take a chance on Arrieta and relief pitcher Pedro Strop and sent starting pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Orioles in return. This will go down as one of the most successful trade’s that Cubs President Theo Epstein will ever make.
A fresh start with the Cubs may have saved Arrieta’s career. No one in the league is pitching better than him and somehow he was left off the All-Star team this year. Arrieta is well on his way to earning a different award at the end of this season and it is the NL Cy Young.