Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, who threw his second career no-hitter on Thursday, has been named National League Player of the Week for the week of April 18th-24th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Arrieta tossed 9.0 no-hit innings while fanning six and allowing four walks in a 16-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The performance came just 10 regular season outings after he threw his first career no-hitter, a 12-strikeout gem last August 30th at Dodger Stadium. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only two pitchers in Major League history to have gone fewer starts between no-hitters are Johnny Vander Meer (who threw no-hitters in consecutive starts in 1938) and Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (who had five starts separating his two no-hitters, September 16, 1960-April 28, 1961). With no-hitters in consecutive seasons, Arrieta joins Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax (1962-65), Nolan Ryan (1973-75 and 1990-91) and Spahn (1960-61), as well as Steve Busby (1973-74), Homer Bailey (2012-13) and Tim Lincecum (2013-14) as the only pitchers in Major League history to do so (Elias). The Cubs' ace joined Larry Corcoran and Ken Holtzman as the only North Siders to toss multiple no-hitters. Arrieta also became only the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-no, joining Koufax (1964), Bob Gibson (1971) and Clayton Kershaw (2014). With the no-hit gem, Arrieta improved his record to a perfect 4-0 on the season with a 0.87 ERA (3 ER/31.0 IP) and 26 strikeouts. This is the fourth career weekly honor for the 2007 fifth round draft pick, who was named NL Player of the Week three times last season (July 6th-12th; August 24th-30th; and September 20th-26th).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Arrieta's teammates Jason Hammel (2-0, 0.75 ERA, 13 SO, 12.0 IP) and Anthony Rizzo (5 HR, 10 RBI, .808 SLG); Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.520, 7 R, 13 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .840 SLG, .600 OBP); Arizona's Welington Castillo (.381, 6 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 1.095 SLG, .440 OBP); and Neil Walker (.400, 10 H, 4 HR, 4 RBI, .880 SLG, .444 OBP) of the New York Mets.
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Jake Arrieta will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.