Jake Arrieta is now a no-hit threat for Cubs after 'sucking' in Baltimore

Mike Oz

Maybe for Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, the third time will be the charm. There's a pattern that seems to support that his next start might be the one in which he gets the no-hitter he's been chasing recently.

Last week, Arrieta took a perfect game into the seventh inning before it was broken up by the Cincinnati Reds. Then on Monday night, he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox until Stephen Drew broke it up with a two-out single to right field. Next time, it seems like Arrieta's destined for the ninth inning, right?

Arrieta, 28 and a fifth-year MLB player, wasn't the guy at the top of the list of no-hitter threats at the start of the year. In fact, he was coming off a season in which he had a 4.78 ERA, which was actually down from 6.20 in 2012, his last full season with the Baltimore Orioles before being traded to the Cubs last year.


With those rough Orioles years in mind, Arrieta gave us a fabulous near no-hitter reaction quote, that had to sting the fans in Baltimore even more:

Whether it's just a crazy hot streak or potential finally realized Arrieta has transformed himself into a pitcher who can baffle opposing batters like the best pitchers in the league. He only gave up four earned runs in all of June, going 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA. Does he think he's Clayton Kershaw or something?

If you watched him Monday night against the Red Sox, you saw Arrieta moving the ball around the plate, locating with pinpoint accuracy and effectively making use of all five of his pitches. From MLB.com's Carrie Muskat:

"Everything -- he located everything," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said. "He's got great stuff. His cutter was down in the zone. His four-seam, he elevated it. He kept every pitch out of the zone. Three at-bats, I don't think I got one good pitch to hit. You've just got to tip your hat."

Or, if you're a Cubs fan, you've got to start thanking your favorite deity that Arrieta put it together while in your uniform and not someone else's. The near no-hitters are fun, but not "sucking" anymore will make Arrieta more valuable in the long run.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!