Game Eighty-One: Cubs 2, Red Sox 0
WP – Jake Arrieta (5-1) LP – Jake Peavy (1-7) Save – Hector Rondon (10)
Jake Arrieta was outstanding again Monday night. Arrieta took a no-hitter into the eighth inning that Stephen Drew broke up with two outs in the eighth on a 2-2 pitch. Arrieta did more than follow-up his previous outing against the Reds in which he took a perfect game into the seventh inning, he topped it. And Nate Schierholtz gave Arrieta all of the runs he would need with a two-run homer in the fourth as the Cubs shutout the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Jake Arrieta kept the Red Sox off balance all night with excellent command and movement on his fastball. Arrieta was perfect through four innings and faced just one over the minimum through seven innings. The Red Sox made little, if any, hard contact against Arrieta as he pounded the strike zone. Arrieta’s only blemish through seven innings was a walk to Mike Napoli with one out in the fifth.
Jake Arrieta caught Mike Napoli looking at a 2-2 pitch for the first out in the eighth and retired Xander Bogaerts on a flyout to center on a 1-2 pitch. Stephen Drew ripped a 2-2 pitch into right with two outs in the eighth for the first and only hit Arrieta allowed on the night.
Rick Renteria went to get Arrieta as soon as he gave up the hit to Drew. Arrieta topped his career high in pitches thrown (114 in 2010, 2012) and there was no reason to leave him in the game. The Red Sox’s fans gave Arrieta a standing ovation as he left the field … and Arrieta tipped his cap in appreciation.
Jake Arrieta was four outs short of being the first pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox since Chris Bosio, his pitching coach, in 1993 when he pitched for the Seattle Mariners. The last time the Sox were no hit at Fenway Park was on July 20, 1958 by Jim Bunning of the Tigers. And the 27th out that day was Ted Williams.
Jake Arrieta ended his night with 7 2/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball. Arrieta issued one walk and struck out 10 batters. And Arrieta beat the Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Pedro Strop threw one pitch for the last out in the eighth and Hector Rondon faced the minimum in the ninth after giving up the second hit of the game to who else but A.J. Pierzynski.
Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon combined on the Cubs sixth shutout of the season.
As Jim Deshaies said, Jake Arrieta is becoming must see TV.
Nate Schierholtz (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI) supplied Jake Arrieta all of the runs he would need. After Welington Castillo (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) worked a two-out walk in the fourth, Schierholtz launched his fourth longball of the season into the bullpen beyond the right field wall.
Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a walk), Chris Coghlan (1-for-4) and Ryan Sweeney (1-for-3 with a walk) collected the Cubs other three hits.
With Monday’s victory, the Cubs finished June with a 15-13 record, the team’s first winning month of the season … and improved to 35-46 on the season.
The game was scoreless going into the fourth. The Cubs managed three hits off Jake Peavy while Jake Arrieta retired the first nine batters he faced on 46 pitches, 29 for strikes.
Starlin Castro and Luis Valbuena went down swinging to start the fourth. Jake Peavy jumped ahead of Castillo but could not put the Cubs’ catcher away. Welington Castillo worked a walk. Nate Schierholtz stepped in and pulled Peavy’s first pitch to deep right. Schierholtz’s fourth home run of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Junior Lake struck out swinging to end the inning … and he snapped the bat over his knee after he went down swinging for the second time on the night.
After four innings, the Cubs led 2-0.
And that is how the game ended. Jake Arrieta allowed two baserunners and the Red Sox managed a total of three baserunners on the night.
Edwin Jackson takes on Clay Buchholz in game two at Fenway Park under the lights Tuesday night (6:10pm CDT).