The Cincinnati Reds never had a chance on Thursday night against Chicago’s Jake Arrieta. You could see it on their faces and in their body language as they stepped into the box to face the ace Cubs fans have been hoping for for generations. The bearded righty threw a no-hitter as magnificent as his facial hair in front of a sparse crowd in Cincinnati on Thursday night, dominating both on the mound and at the plate as the Cubs confounded their divisional mate to the tune of a 16-0 shellacking. Here’s Cubs catcher, David Ross, talking with MLB Network Radio on Arrieta’s masterpiece:

Arrieta’s line belies his dominance. He allowed four walks and “only” fanned seven, but watching the Reds in real time last night was watching a team that just didn’t have a chance against a guy who has become one of the best pitchers in baseball. At the plate, Arrieta managed to help his own cause as well, though with the Cubs offense firing on all cylinders, he wasn’t necessarily NEEDED on offense. Arrieta went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as a batter, the cherry on top of what was already one hell of a sundae. Safe to say, it was the best second start after signing an underwear deal in MLB history. All kidding aside, Arrieta’s no-hitter against the Reds wasn’t just one of the best all around performances in recent memory, but rather one of the best all around performances of all time.

Consider:

  • Arrieta became just the second Cubs pitcher in the World Series era to throw two no-hitters for the club. The other one? Ken Holtzman, who threw one in 1969 and another in 1971. The location of Holtzman’s second no-hitter? Ironically enough, Cincinnati at old Riverfront Stadium, Great American Ballpark’s predecessor.
  • The 16-0 margin of victory is the largest in a no-hitter in the World Series era, besting the White Sox’ 15-0 drubbing of the Tigers in Frank Smith’s no-hitter on September 6th, 1905.
  • Arrieta became the first pitcher to no-hit the Reds in 7,109 games. Rick Wise was the last pitcher to do it, for the Phillies, on June 23, 1971, a mere 20 days after Holtzman had no-hit the Reds in the same ballpark. Like Arrieta, he threw his gem in Cincinnati. And, again like Arrieta, Wise also had two hits of his own.
  • The last pitcher to throw a no-hitter, come to the plate at least four times, and win by a score of 13-0? Monte Pearson of the Yankees on August 27, 1938. Pearson went 0-for-3 with a walk at the plate that day. Pearson’s Yankees wound up winning the World Series. As for Arrieta’s Cubs, that remains to be seen.
    Since coming over from the Orioles in 2013 what will likely go down as one of the more lopsided trades in MLB history, Arrieta has gone 40-13 with a 2.17 ERA, throwing two no-hitters in that span and coming close many more times. This is a pitcher, frankly, who was worth the wait.

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