CINCINNATI -- Cubs ace Jake Arrieta showed why he's arguably second to none on Thursday night in Cincinnati, throwing a no-hitter in a 16-0 romp over the Reds that put him in all-time elite company.
With his second no-hitter, both of them coming on the road, he trails only Nolan Ryan (three) for road no-hitters, joins Ken Holtzman and Larry Corcoran as the only Cubs with two no-hitters and became the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-hitter the following season.
"This is why he won the Cy Young last year," Cubs catcher David Ross said. "He's got the capability of doing that every night. I think mentally he expects to do that. He's not shocked when he does stuff like that, and rightfully so."
The margin of victory was the second largest in history for a no-hitter, falling just short of Buffalo's 18-0 victory over Detroit in 1884. Obviously, Arrieta had plenty of help. Kris Bryant matched a career high with six RBIs, hitting two home runs, including his third career grand slam.
Bryant's blasts were two of five home runs by the Cubs, but the night belonged to Arrieta, who threw his first career no-hitter 10 starts ago, on Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium. Only Warren Spahn, who threw two no-no's five starts apart and, of course, Johnny Vander Meer, who threw back-to-back no-hitters, did it with fewer starts in between. It's the 15th no-hitter in Cubs franchise history.
Arrieta (4-0) helped himself at the plate as well, hitting two singles, drawing a walk and scoring a run. He did walk four and struck out six.
"His command got better game in progress," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I thought early on, he was really fighting it. He was actually better out of the stretch than out of the windup -- he had more consistent delivery and knew where the ball was going better."
Maddon didn't have anyone warming up in the late innings because he didn't want any negative vibe. Arrieta threw a season-high 119 pitches. The only thing missing was the mustached onesie that he wore postgame after his first no-no.
"What can I say -- he was spectacular," Maddon said.
After Jason Heyward caught Eugenio Suarez's fly ball for the final out, Arrieta was mobbed on the field by his teammates. A fan jumped onto the field and tried to join the celebration but was escorted away by security.
"We always expect that from Jake," Dexter Fowler said. "Any time he goes out there, you think he can throw one."
Reds starter Brandon Finnegan carried a no-hitter for his first 6 2/3 innings vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 11. No such drama for him this time, as Dexter Fowler hit a double on the very first pitch of the game. Finnegan lasted four innings and gave up five earned runs, seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts for the loss.
Arrieta threw the first no-hitter against the Reds since the Phillies' Rick Wise did so on June 23, 1971, ending a streak of 7,109 games, the longest active stretch of being no-hit in the regular season.
"It's tough. We got dominated," said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who walked in the second inning. "It's the most dominating baseball game I've ever been a part of. Obviously, he was great. We weren't. The news and the talking points are the no-hitter and all the runs scored. But at the end of the day, we lost a game. We just have to keep going. Nothing we can do about it now." More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Seeing red: Bryant notched his fourth career two-homer game, and did so in grand fashion. In the first inning, Fowler doubled to set up Bryant's third homer of the season. According to Statcast™, the homer's exit velocity registered at 111 mph, second on the team to Anthony Rizzo's 111.3 mph, which he logged on Wednesday with a solo shot against the Cardinals. The Cubs loaded the bases in the seventh, and Bryant connected again for his third career grand slam. All of Bryant's blasts have come against the Reds. More >
Votto career-high 0-fer: Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 0-for-3 with three groundouts. It extended his hitless streak to a career high 0-for-19. His previous longest stretch was 0-for-16, in 2009. Votto, who was replaced in the eighth inning, is now hitless in five straight games for the first time in his career.
Fountain of youth: Catcher David Ross, 39, who is retiring at the end of this season, had quite the night. He hit an infield single in the second, drew a walk in the fourth and eventually scored on a throwing error, then led off the sixth with his first home run of the season. He also picked off Eugenio Suarez in the fifth. And, of course, he was behind the plate for Arrieta, catching the first no-hitter of his career. More >
"It feels different the second time. I was a little more relaxed as the game progressed. Based on the way I threw the ball before the game started, I anticipated having to grind through some at-bats and some innings a little more than I did. I was able to get the ball in on left-handed hitters for some called strikes and then go below the strike zone when I needed to for some big swings and misses. You put it all together and have conviction with what you're throwing out there, and good things can happen." -- Arrieta
"It's miserable. Guys will tell you the same. As good as Arrieta is tonight, nobody wants to be embarrassed, nobody wants to be no-hit, nobody wants to be a part of giving up 16 runs. It just wasn't a game that anybody's going to look back on and say there was any redeeming values or qualities or that anything positive came out of that ballgame for our club, other than hoping to forget about it as soon as possible. Or, maybe more importantly, remember it and use it as a motivating force. There just wasn't anything good to pull out of that game." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
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While it had been almost 45 years since they were last no-hit in the regular season, the Reds were no-hit in the postseason on Oct. 6, 2010, by Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the National League Division Series vs. the Phillies.
This was Arrieta's 24th consecutive quality start, dating to last June 21. He is now 20-1 in that stretch, giving up 17 earned runs over 178 innings.
The 16-0 final is the second-largest margin of victory ever in a no-hitter, trailing only Pud Galvin's Aug. 4, 1884, no-hitter for Buffalo at Detroit -- an 18-0 win. Frank Smith of the White Sox was a 15-0 winner over Detroit on Sept. 6, 1905.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs: Lefty Jon Lester will make his fourth start of the season and second against the Reds this year. On April 11 at Wrigley Field, he gave up three runs over six innings but did not get a decision. First pitch will be 6:10 p.m. CT.
Reds: Right-hander Jon Moscot will get the start when the series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday. Moscot made his 2016 debut on Sunday in a 5 2/3-innings no-decision before a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals. He threw 102 pitches in the game, his first in the regular season since June, 15, 2015, when he separated his left shoulder.