Just five days after taking a perfect game into the seventh inning in his last start Jake Arrieta, a starter for the Chicago Cubs, took a no-hitter into the bottom of the eighth inning Monday.
The Cubs were facing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park when Stephen Drew broke up the no-hitter with a two out single to right on a 2-2 pitch. Arrieta had thrown 120 pitches (75 for strikes) and was replaced by Pedro Strop after allowing the Red Sox first hit. Strop got the final out of the eighth inning and Hector Rondon came in to pitch the ninth. Rendon allowed a hit but got the save and held on to the shut out for Arrieta.
In his last start against the Reds, Arrieta was perfect through six innings, finally allowing a run to Billy Hamilton who led off the seventh inning.
Arrieta had changed a lot in the past year. Wednesday will mark the year anniversary of when he was traded to the Cubs by the Baltimore Orioles. To say the 28-year old right hander has had much more success since joining the Cubs would be an understatement. The young but very mature Arrieta told the press Monday night,
“I feel like I’ve grown so much in many areas. When I started playing this game, I was still a kid. I feel I’m a young man who is continuing to learn and grow as a dad, a husband, a player, a teammate, and those are all very important aspects of this game. I feel like combined with a pretty good work ethic and pretty good routine, those are results I can have from time to time.”
Going into Tuesday’s start he was 0-3 in five career starts and six games against the Red Sox. He was so good last night he won praise from both the opposing players and the opposing fans, earning a rare standing ovation from the crowd on hand at Fenway.
“Everything — he located everything,” Boston’s Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s got great stuff. His cutter was down in the zone. His four-seam, he elevated it. He kept every pitch out of the zone. Three at-bats, I don’t think I got one good pitch to hit. You’ve just got to tip your hat.”
Going into the eighth Arrieta found himself going for the 14th no-hitter in Cubs history and the first since Carlos Zambrano threw one in 2008. It would have been the first time that the Red Sox had been no-hit at Fenway Park since 1958.
The fans obviously appreciated the effort. Arrieta tipped his cap to the standing crowd, thanked catcher Wellington Castillo with a pat on the chest and walked into the dugout after serving up the single to Drew. He said later that to get that reaction in Boston was a win in itself.
“Something like that in Fenway is pretty rare for an opposing team,” Arrieta said. “I got some goose bumps there, and that’s why you play the game is for moments like that. I’m very thankful to be a part of something like that.”