UPDATE: Jake Arrieta’s no-hit bid was snapped with two outs in the eighth inning. After Arrieta struck out Mike Napoli looking and got Xander Bogaerts to fly out, Stephen Drew ripped a single to right field to give the Red Sox their first hit of the night. Arrieta, who threw a season-high 120 pitches, was quickly removed from the game to a nice ovation from the Fenway Park crowd.
No-hitter or not, it was a heck of an outing. Arrieta’s evolution continues to be fun to watch. The 28-year-old now has a 1.81 ERA and 74/16 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings over 11 starts this season.
9:27 p.m. ET: Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta didn’t allow his first baserunner until the seventh inning last Tuesday night against the Reds and he’s flirting with history again tonight.
Arrieta has tossed seven no-hit innings tonight against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. The only baserunner against him so far was a one-out walk to Mike Napoli in the fifth inning. He has struck out nine batters and thrown 103 pitches over his seven frames of work. For what it’s worth, his season-high is 105 pitches and his career-high is 114, so he’ll have to go into uncharted territory in order to finish this one off.
Coming into tonight’s outing, Arrieta had a 1.14 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over five starts this month. He’s always had the ability, but he’s finally putting it all together.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.