Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta has been unanimously voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of August.
Arrieta posted a perfect 6-0 record in six August starts while recording a 0.43 ERA (2 ER/42.1 IP). The righthanded hurler's ERA was the lowest among qualifying Major League pitchers, while his six wins were tied for the Major League lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Arrieta became the first pitcher to go 6-0 in six starts with an ERA below 0.75 in a calendar month since Jim Kaat went 6-0 with a 0.35 ERA in September 1974 for the Chicago White Sox. In addition, Jake is the first NL pitcher to turn the trick since Hall of Famer Bob Gibson accomplished the feat in consecutive months in 1968, going 6-0 over six starts with a 0.50 ERA in both June and July. Arrieta also ranked among league leaders in innings pitched (2nd) and strikeouts (T-4th, 43), while holding opposing hitters to a .130 batting average.
The Missouri native capped his extraordinary month in impressive fashion, tossing his first career no-hitter on Sunday, August 30th against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Arrieta tossed 9.0 scoreless frames in the outing and fanned a season-high 12 batters while issuing one walk. He punctuated the performance by striking out the side in the ninth, becoming the first pitcher to end a no-no in such a fashion since Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax fanned the last six Cubs he faced in his perfect game in 1965 (Elias). Arrieta needed 116 pitches (80 strikes) to dispatch the Dodgers and earn his Major League-best 17th win of the season. The no-hit effort marked the third consecutive outing in which Arrieta did not allow an earned run. He fanned eight across 6.0 innings of work on August 25th in an eventual 8-5 win at San Francisco. His 6.0 shutout frames and seven strikeouts led the Cubs to a 7-1 victory over the visiting Atlanta Braves on August 20th. Arrieta currently leads the Majors in wins and ranks second among qualifying pitchers with a 2.11 ERA (43 ER/183.0 IP). This is his first career monthly award.
The National League Pitcher of the Month for August, Jake Arrieta, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.