Cubs starter Jake Arrieta no-hit the Dodgers on Sunday night, using 112 pitches to keep the opposition off the board in a 2-0 victory. He walked one and struck out 12, and with the strong start, he increased his major league win total to 17.
If things were tense in the ninth inning, Arrieta didn’t show it. He fanned the final three batters he faced, Justin Turner, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley.
Arrieta’s gem is the sixth no-hitter this season. It’s the Cubs’ first no-hitter since Carlos Zambrano accomplished the feat on September 14, 2008. The Dodgers have been no-hit twice in the span of 9 days, as Mike Fiers kept them silent on August 21.
Arrieta, with an outside shot at the NL Cy Young Award, has a 2.11 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP and a 190/44 K/BB ratio in 183 innings.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers was optioned to Double-A Corpus Christi on August 3 after failing to make it out of the first inning in a disastrous start against the Rangers. Houston’s braintrust wanted the 21-year-old to take a breather and come back ready to assist in the club’s final push for its first ever American League West title. That push is now on.
McCullers — owner of a cool 3.17 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 79 strikeouts over his first 76 2/3 major league frames — has been recalled from the Double-A level and will start against Clayton Kershaw in Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Dodgers.
Houston got to Zack Greinke on Saturday for a 3-1 victory and Mike Fiers threw a no-hitter on Friday. This is coming together as a statement series for the ‘Stros here in late August.
As of Sunday morning, they hold a four-game lead in the AL West.
In the NL West, the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants is just 1 1/2.
Astros starter Mike Fiers no-hit the Dodgers on Friday night, but his achievement was quickly downplayed on social media when an image showing what appeared to be a shiny substance on the inside of the right-hander’s glove. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly never questioned it, nor did anyone else on the team, during the game.
Asked about the alleged substance after the game, Fiers said, “It could be different lighting or something,” as Jose de Jesus Ortiz reports.
Even after the fact, the Dodgers aren’t interested in pursuing the matter. Via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
“I don’t want to take anything away from his night,” outfielder Carl Crawford said.
Manager Don Mattingly also viewed the social media-driven controversy as a non-issue, saying, “I think it sounds like you’re whining if you look at it and talk about it.”
The consensus around the clubhouse was that a significant number of pitchers use something to improve their grip on the ball.
“I think it’s pretty much accepted, unless it’s blatantly obvious somebody’s doing it,” Mattingly said.
Fiers donated his cap and one of the balls he threw during the no-hitter to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Those and other items were authenticated, as Astros manager of authentication Mike Acosta tweeted on Friday night.
Yankees starter Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games last season when he was caught using a “foreign substance” on his neck.
Former major league catcher John Baker, when asked to cite the percentage of pitchers who liked using a foreign substance, said, “100%.”