Joe Maddon’s team completed an unforgettable weekend Sunday at Great American Ball Park with the second shutout in four games. Even with the blowout loss, the Cubs outscored the Reds 38-14 in the series. The Cubs have a run differential on the season of +68 and a 14-5 record, nine games over .500 with Sunday’s victory.
The Cubs finished the seven-game road trip through St. Louis and Cincinnati with five wins (5-2). The 14-5 record after 19 games is tied for the second best start to a season in franchise history. The ’69 Cubs began the year 14-5, only the 1907 Cubs (16-3) had a better record 19 games into a season.
Jake Arrieta etched his name in the history books again with the second no-hitter in 11 starts on Thursday to open the series in the Queen City. And the Cubs will celebrate Arrieta’s second career no-no before Tuesday’s opener against the Brewers.
Here are the headlines from the last three-plus days chock full of news, recaps and videos … and a couple of minor league updates, too.
Second Verse as Good as the First … Jake Arrieta No Hits the Reds – Cubs 16, Reds 0
The Cubs weekend in Cincinnati began with a little history. Jake Arrieta tossed the second no-hitter of his career Thursday night. Arrieta shut down a Reds offense that can put up runs when its motivated. Arrieta joined a small list of pitchers in Cubs history with two no-no’s on his resume.
Arrieta faced two over the minimum, walked four and struck out six in an historic night in the Queen City.
And in what became an afterthought, the Cubs offense put 16 runs on the board behind just a tremendous game from Kris Bryant. Bryant launched two home runs, his third career Grand Slam. And the Cubs hit a grand total of five homers on the night with Anthony Rizzo, David Ross and Ben Zobrist also going yard.
Recap includes a ton of video.
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/22/16
Tom recapped the action from the minors and it was a good day down on the farm while Arrieta was tossing his no-hitter in the majors.
Ryan Kellogg, Albert Almora Jr., Eddy Julio Martinez, Yasiel Balaguert and Ian Happ performances stood out at the end of the week.
The Daily CCO: All About Jake Arrieta’s Second No-Hitter
When the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner throws his second no-hitter in 11 starts, the Daily report is all about his performance.
Report includes just unbelievable Jake Arrieta stats that show the significance of what he is accomplishing right now.
David Ross caught the first no-no of his career. And it meant a lot to Arrieta and the Cubs that Ross was behind the plate on Thursday night.
In the non-Arrieta news … Pierce Johnson was activated from the DL, Kyle Schwarber returned to Chicago and Kris Bryant’s numbers on nights Arrieta throws no-hitters are just ridiculous.
Cubs Use Longballs and Small Ball to Beat the Reds – Cubs 8, Reds 1
The Cubs stayed on track Friday night against the Reds. Javier Baez had a big night at the plate that included his first homer of the season. The Cubs manufactured three runs early, two on squeeze bunts and another on a sac fly. David Ross had another huge game at the plate. And the Cubs scored four runs in the ninth on three two-out doubles.
Jon Lester was really good for seven innings and even drove in a run.
Cubs to Recognize Jake Arrieta’s Second No-Hitter in Pregame Ceremony
The Cubs second homestand of the season begins Tuesday with three against the Brewers (April 26-28) and wraps up with three versus the Braves (April 29-May 1).
Jake Arrieta will be recognized before Tuesday night’s game for his second no-hitter. And he will pitch Wednesday night.
Click on the link for all the details of the upcoming homestand.
One of Those Games – Reds 13, Cubs 5
As Joe Maddon says, not every game can be an oil painting and Saturday’s game with the Reds falls under that criteria. The Cubs had a bad game and lost for the first time on the season when scoring at least four runs.
John Lackey, Trevor Cahill, Neil Ramirez and Clayton Richard were rocked … the Cubs offense could not keep up.
Cubs Prospect Ian Happ Launches Third Home Run
Ian Happ went yard for the third time on the young season, first time from the right side of the plate. Happ is hitting and getting on base at a very good clip. Defensively, he has work to do.
Report includes video of all three homers hit by the Cubs prospect.
The Daily CCO: Kris Bryant is Producing Outside of Wrigley Field and Other Cubs News
Kris Bryant hit the cover off the ball in the first six games of the road. And unlike last season, he is hitting outside of Wrigley Field.
Javier Baez played third base for the second day in a row. And Maddon’s decision might have had more to do with Jorge Soler’s poor defense in left field than has been reported.
Batting practice is overrated. The Cubs on-base percentage is really good and Jon Lester did something for just the second time in his career.
Daily report includes all of the news, notes and links plus This Day in Cubs History.
Rizzo, Heyward and La Stella Hammel the Reds – Cubs 9, Reds 0
Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of two run blasts. Jason Heyward had four hits and drove in three runs. Tommy La Stella doubled twice, homered and scored three runs. And Jason Hammel shut down the Reds offense for six innings.
The Cubs limited the same Reds lineup that lit up the scoreboard on Saturday to three hits in Sunday’s finale. Hammel, Adam Warren, Travis Wood and Hector Rondon combined on the three-hit shutout.
Joe Maddon’s lineup abused Alfredo Simon again and took care of business against the Reds.
Recap includes both of Anthony Rizzo’s home runs.