The Chicago Cubs completely dismantled the Cincinnati Reds at Great Ballpark on Thursday as Jake Arrieta tossed his second career no-hitter while driving in a run in the Cubs 16-0 victory.
Arrieta (4-0) walked four and struck out six in his dominating performance, but certainly got more run support than he did in his 2-0 no-hitter against the Dodgers last Aug. 31. Brandon Finnegan (1-1) held the Cubs hitless through nearly seven innings in his last start against the Cubs (12-4), but this time he was touched up for five runs in four innings of work. It was the first time the Reds (8-8) had been no-hit since the 2010 postseason when Roy Halladay lead the Phillies to victory with only the second ever no hitter in a playoff game.
It wasn’t pretty for the Reds as Chicago scored two in the first on a Kris Bryant homer and then two more in the second on a Ben Zobrist solo shot and a fielder’s choice RBI by Dexter Fowler. Arrieta helped his own cause in the fourth with an RBI single and after four innings, Finnegan’s night was over. Unfortunately Tim Melville didn’t have any better luck as he surrendered a solo homer to David Ross in the fifth and then a three-run blast to Anthony Rizzo. Drew Hayes made his MLB debut, but it was one to forget as he retired the first hitter he faced, but then gave up a grand slam to Bryant to hand the Cubs and insurmountable 13-0 advantage. Hayes did work a 1-2-3 eighth, but Chicago touched up Blake Wood for three more in the ninth.
As for Arrieta his first inning went by quickly retiring Zack Cozart, Eugenio Suarez, and Joey Votto in order. Brandon Phillips grounded out to start the second, but Jay Bruce was able to reach on a walk. Arrieta responded by striking out Devin Mesoraco and Adam Duvall to end the frame. The third inning also flew by as Scott Schebler, Finnegan, and Cozart went down in order.
In the fourth he walked Suarez, but Arrieta was able to pick off Suarez to eliminate him off the base paths. Votto and Phillips each grounded out to end the inning. The fifth was another 1-2-3 outing with Bruce, Mesoraco, and Duvall going down in order. Schebler walked to start the sixth, but was erased by a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jordan Pacheco who was pinch-hitting for Melville. Cozart cleared the bases and end the sixth by bouncing into a 6-4-4 double play.
Arrieta worked quickly through the seventh and eighth, sitting Suarez, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Mesoraco, and Duvall down in order. After the seventh, manager Bryan Price elected to remove Votto and Phillips from the game in favor of Tyler Holt and Ivan De Jesus Jr. In the final inning, Arrieta showed some nerves by walking Schebler, who took second on fielder’s indifference to become the only Red to get into scoring position. Tucker Barnhart pinch-hit for Wood, but popped out to Addison Russell, who was the only Cubs player on Thursday to no get a hit. Cozart lined out to center and then Gold Glove right fielder Jason Heyward secured the final out of the game to complete the no-hitter.
The Reds can only improve from Thursday’s outing and they turn to Jon Moscot (0-0, 4.26 ERA) to help them bounce back. Jon Lester (1-1, 2.21 ERA) will take the ball for the Cubs as they look to continue their run as baseball’s top team in 2016. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.