Jake Arrieta, starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, pitched a no-hitter for 7 and 2/3 innings last night against the Boston Red Sox before it was broken up. Good achievement for the guy, but no big deal, right? Not exactly. Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter was broken up by Stephen Drew, who happens to be a guy that’s hitting just .129 this year. That’s right – a dude with a batting average below .200 (heck, it’s even below .150) is the one to break up Arrieta’s chance at history when he was only four outs away.
Ultimately, though, while it is pretty funny that Drew was the one to get a hit, the bigger story here is the emergence of Jake Arietta as one of baseball’s best pitchers. Since starting this season in May, he’s got a 1.81 ERA and has only given up four runs in his past six starts. Plus, the last two games he’s pitched he’s taken no-hitters into at least the seventh inning.
And that’s what brings me to the biggest story that should become out of this: the dominance of the picture in current day Major League Baseball. We just finished up the month of June, and we’ve already seen three no-hitters this season. That’s the total amount of no-hit games that we saw all of last season, and we also saw seven over the course of the 2012 season. No-hitters are happening more frequently in baseball now, and while hitters are still getting their homers and driving in runners, the game of baseball has become much more about watching and examining pitching performances than about marveling at the distance of home runs. It’s a pitcher’s game now, and the hitters are simply just playing it, trying to do their best.
Here’s the video of Drew breaking up Arrieta’s no-hitter last night:
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