CINCINNATI—The Cincinnati Bengals were nearing their third season as a franchise, Richard Nixon was the President of the United States and over six-hundred thousand people from Washington D.C. to San Francisco were protesting the Vietnam War the last time the Cincinnati Reds were no hit in a regular-season affair.
On Thursday, however, that swift flashback in history was erased by Cubs’ ace Jake Arrieta, who tossed the 15th no-hitter in franchise history in a 16-0 demolition of the Reds. He became the first hurler to no-hit the Reds in the regular season since Rick Wise of the Philadelphia Phillies on June 23, 1971.
Arrieta, the NL Cy-Young award winner from a year ago, continued his string of impressive outings, no-hitting the Reds to improve his record to 4-0 this season. For the sixth time in his career he took a no-no into the eighth inning and for the second time; he placed his name into MLB history.
Including his no-hitter against the Dodgers in August of last season, Arrieta has now thrown 24 consecutive quality starts and the Cubs have won each of the last 17 games he has started on the mound.
Hidden in Arrieta’s dominance was the run support he received from his offense against Reds’ starter Brandon Finnegan.
After tossing 6 2/3 no-hit innings against Chicago just nine days ago, it took just one pitch for Finnegan to allow his first hit on Thursday, a double by Dexter Fowler over centerfielder Scott Schebler to lead off the game. Two batters later, Kris Bryant made a 400-plus foot deposit into the upper-deck Kroger Bleachers in left field to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead and the route was on.
This was not the end of Bryant’s big day, adding a grand slam off Reds’ reliever Drew Hayes, who was making his Major-Leauge debut. All four of Bryant’s homers this season have come courtesy of Cincinnati pitching.
Overall, the Reds’ had a hard time keeping the mighty bats of Cubs from knocking the ball into the outfield seats. In total, Chicago knocked five dingers, with veteran catcher David Ross and infielder Ben Zobrist hitting their first of the season while first baseman Anthony Rizzo added a three-run laser into the right-field Sun Deck in the sixth.
Worth mentioning, the Reds’ bullpen had been a problem leading up to this four-game showdown with the division-leading Cubbies—sporting an 8.62 earned-run average over the last nine games. On Thursday, it was more of the same, with the bullpen yielding 11 runs over a five-inning span following Finnegan’s fifth-inning exit. That’s not a misprint—double-digit runs in just five innings.
In total, the Reds’ bullpen has now allowed 41 earned runs over the last 35 1/3 innings.
Special kudos goes out to former-Red David Ross, who, as aforementioned, knocked his first home run of the season in the win and caught his first no-hitter of his career on Thursday. He added an infield single, a walk and scored three runs.
In the end, it was part of history despite the Reds being on the unfortunate side of pitching brilliance. However, the upper hand has to be given to Rick Wise of the Phillies.
On that day in 1971, Wise no-hit the Reds, hit two home runs at the plate and retired the MLB’s hit-king, Pete Rose, for the game’s final out.