Jake Arrieta has been the best pitcher on the Cubs all season, and he capped it off with a no-hitter vs. the Dodgers on Sunday night.
The ace only allowed one walk and fanned 12 batters, striking out the side in the ninth inning to complete the feat.
Arrieta improved his record to 17-6 in the process, becoming baseball’s first 17-game winner of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 2.11, which only trails Zack Greinke among starters. Arrieta has avoided allowing any earned runs in five of his last six starts, lowering his ERA from 2.62 over that time.
While he certainly sits behind Greinke in the current NL Cy Young running, Arrieta is closing the gap. He leads the Dodgers starter in strikeouts (190 to 164) and wins (17 to 14), and has an incredible 1.03 ERA since the All-Star break. He could make the Cy Young race very interesting over the last month if his incredible streak keeps up.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers became the first team to be no-hit twice in one month since the 1971 Reds, as Mike Fiers no-hit the team on August 21. The Dodgers have a 3.5 game lead in the NL West, but have had quite a Jekyll and Hyde act in August with two four-plus game losing streaks and Sunday’s loss coming right after a five-game winning streak.
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Strasburg Leaves With Back Discomfort
The frustrating season for Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals just keeps getting worse.
Washington beat Miami 7-4 on Sunday, but lost Strasburg in the process. The flamethrower left the start after four innings due to discomfort in his upper back. While on the mound, he allowed four runs in four innings.
Strasburg has already spent significant time on the DL this season due to oblique and shoulder injuries, and has thrown only 91 innings this year. After his most recent start, Strasburg’s ERA sits at an unimpressive 4.35. The poor outing ends a streak of four consecutive quality starts.
Doug Fister came on in relief of Strasburg, and would likely claim Strasburg’s rotation spot if he’s forced to miss time. The Nats sit 5.5 games back of the Mets in the NL East, and even further back in the Wild Card race. Certainly, the team won’t push Strasburg if he’s not ready for his next start, but they desperately need him healthy over the last month of the season.
Yanks Demolish Teheran and Braves
It wasn’t a bad day at the office for the Yankees, beating Atlanta 20-6 on Sunday. They got 21 hits, including three long balls, while Julio Teheran allowed eight earned runs on nine hits in only 4 1/3 innings.
The biggest days from New York were had by Chase Headley (3-for-4 with one home run, four RBI, and three runs) and Stephen Drew (4-for-4 with one home run, four RBI, and three runs). It was rare big-time production for what has been a frustrating season out of the veteran pair.
Headley’s batting average is up to .277 on the season, but he has only 10 homers. The third baseman did have four extra-base hits during the three-game series against Atlanta, but the home run was only his first during the month of August. The hope is that the strong weekend series will be the start of a late-season hot streak for Headley, who has shown to be a streaky hitter in the past.
Drew hit his 16th home run, and also brought his batting average above the Mendoza Line with his performance. Somehow, Drew has managed to remain in the lineup nearly everyday recently despite his inability to get on base (.274 OBP), and he hadn’t gotten a hit in nearly a full week before Sunday’s huge game. His now 20 home run pace has generated significant value for AL-only owners, but Drew’s playing time could be cut slightly in September with Jose Pirela and Rob Refsynder likely to rejoin the team.
Following the sweep of Atlanta, the Yankees still sit only 1.5 games behind Toronto and still have a nice cushion over Minnesota in the Wild Card race.
American League Quick Hits: Indians president Mark Shapiro is expected to be named president of the Blue Jays, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports … Jean Machi has overtaken Junichi Tazawa as Boston’s closer … Felix Hernandez will have his next start skipped as he gets extra rest. Vidal Nuno will start in his place on Monday … Alex Gordon (groin) is set to return Tuesday, and will play 4-5 games per week upon his return … Carlos Correa (hamstring) will run the bases and do agility drills on Monday … Nathan Eovaldi improved to 14-2 vs. the Braves on Sunday … Ervin Santana rebounded to throw seven scoreless innings vs. Houston while fanning 10 batters … Brett Lawrie was scratched from Sunday’s game due to back tightness … Phil Hughes (back) is expected to resume throwing off a mound mid-to-late this week … Ketel Marte could return to Seattle’s lineup on Monday … Robinson Chirinos (shoulder) is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Monday … Josh Hamilton (knee) still hasn’t been cleared to resume running … Rays manager Kevin Cash said the Rays have discussed promoting top pitching prospect Blake Snell next month … Matt Moore will rejoin Tampa Bay’s rotation when rosters expand in September … Rajai Davis has been playing through a left middle finger injury since mid-May, according to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus … CC Sabathia (shoulder) played catch on Saturday … White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the White Sox could skip one of Carlos Rodon’s starts in September …
National League Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton (hand) has been cleared for a rehab assignment, and is expected to rejoin the Marlins on Friday … A.J. Burnett (elbow) hopes to return during Pittsburgh’s September 15-17 series vs. the Cubs … Lance Lynn (ankle) reported improvement after leaving Saturday’s game, and he’s expected to make his next turn in the Cardinals rotation … Carlos Frias (back) will join the Dodgers bullpen when he returns … Brennan Boesch was placed on the 15-day DL with a right ankle contusion … Michael Lorenzen will replace David Holmberg in Cincinnati’s starting rotation … Tim Lincecum (hips) had a setback during his rehab … Randal Grichuk (elbow) is close to resuming baseball activities … The Mets acquired Addison Reed from Arizona for two minor league pitchers …