Chicago Cubs 2016: Top moments from the season

Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

April: Arrieta and the Cubs say “No-no”

The Chicago Cubs made a statement in the first month of the season. They got off to a 17-5 record, establishing their dominance. It started with a shutout of the Los Angeles Angels on Opening Day.

On April 21st, Jake Arrieta, the reigning National League Cy Young, continued his incredible run. He faced the Cincinnati Reds and did something he did in 2015 — he pitched a no-hitter.

Arrieta took the mound that night, and when he finally got the last out, it was the culmination of the most lopsided no-hitter in baseball history. The Cubs won 16-0. He struck out six and walked four. He had more hits by himself (2) than the Reds did as a team.

The Cubs pounded out 18 hits, five of them home runs (two of them by Kris Bryant).

Arrieta’s no-hitter was his second in ninth starts, the third-shortest span by a pitcher in MLB history. Only Johnny Vander Meer (back-to-back in 1938) and Warren Spahn (five starts in 1960-61) had shorter spans. He also had a run of 24 consecutive quality starts, the longest since Bob Gibson in 1967-68.

Arrieta wasn’t as dominant the rest of the way as he was during his run, but getting off to a strong start sent a message to the rest of the league that the Chicago Cubs were going to finish off what they did in 2015.