A look back at Cubs' no-hitter history

A look back at Cubs' no-hitter history

Arrieta's no-no was spectacular, but otherwise pretty standard as far as no-hitters go. He walked only one batter, struck out 12 and saw one Dodger reach base via an error. He was dominant, got the job done with a reasonable pitch count of 116, and cruised through the late innings, striking out the side in the ninth, to cap off another significant achievement for a right-hander who has emerged as a serious contender for this year's National League Cy Young Award.

It was a bit of a departure for the Cubs, whose most recent no-hitters prior to Arrieta's gem have been nothing short of odd.

The last no-no before Arrieta's came in Milwaukee on September 14, 2008 -- in front of a predominately Cubs-friendly crowd of 23,441 fans that shouldn't have been there. Fiery right-hander Carlos Zambrano had just recovered from rotator cuff tendinitis that had forced him to miss his past two starts.

Zambrano was scheduled to make his return to the Cubs' rotation on the team's upcoming road trip to Houston, but that plan had to be altered. Hurricane Ike rolled through the Gulf of Mexico and caused major damage to east Texas, making it impossible to travel to Houston.

Harold talks Zambrano no-hitter

In need of a place to play the series, the Astros fell into the unlucky predicament of having to play their home games in Milwaukee. Miller Park resides just 90 miles north of Wrigley Field. Cubs fans turned out in droves for Zambrano's start, and he rewarded them by throwing the first neutral-site no-hitter in Major League history.

Zambrano had removed himself from his last start -- 12 days prior to the no-hitter -- after feeling soreness in his shoulder. The Cubs had no idea what to expect from their ace, but he rewarded their faith by striking out 10 and making history in his first complete game since June 16, 2007.

His spectacular start in 2008 broke the longest drought between no-hitters of any team to previously throw one.

Thirty-six years before Zambrano's memorable night in Milwaukee, Milt Pappas was the last Cubs starter to leave a team hitless. He had a perfect game with two outs in the top of the ninth on September 2, 1972, but issued a walk to Padres pinch-hitter Larry Stahl on a 3-2 count at Wrigley Field.

In an interview with ESPN in 2010, Pappas said he still has a gripe with home plate umpire Bruce Froemming about the pitch. Froemming maintained that the pitch was outside and Pappas even admitted it was off the plate, but said the call should have been awarded to him. Cubs fans had that moment to sit on for more than three decades before Zambrano finally twirled his historic outing.

A few months before Pappas, Chicago starter Burt Hooton threw a no-hitter in his fourth career start. His April 16, 1972, outing against Philadelphia was his most lasting memory in a Cubs uniform before becoming an All-Star in 1981 with the Dodgers. Achieving a no-hitter so quickly after Hooton's debut was undoubtedly an achievement, but Don Cardwell actually completed one for the Cubs in his first Major League start on May 15, 1960.

Because of the Cubs' reluctance to add lights at Wrigley Field, it took until 1971 for a Chicago starter to throw a no-hitter in a night game. On June 3, 1971, Ken Holtzman threw a no-no under the lights in Cincinnati after he'd already had one to his name during his 1969 season with Chicago. Holtzman was the only Cubs pitcher since Larry Corcoran in the 1880s to throw two no-hitters with the organization. Corcoran tossed three within four years between 1880 and 1884.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.