Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up

 

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Jake Arrieta’s middle name should be changed to “No-No.” The Cubs’ ace showed just why he’s the ace of their pitching staff on Thursday night. Arrieta threw his second career no-hitter in a 16-0 win over the Reds in Cincinnati. With his second no-hitter, both of them on the road, he trails only Nolan Ryan (three) for road no-hitters, joins Ken Holtzman and Larry Corcoran as the only Cubs with two no-hitters and became the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-hitter the following season. “This is why he won the Cy Young last year,” catcher David Ross said. “He’s got the capability of doing that every night. I think mentally he expects to do that. He’s not shocked when he does stuff like that, and rightfully so.” Ross had reason to celebrate as well, he caught his first no-hitter that night and with this year being his last year in the MLB, what a retirement gift! The margin of victory was the second largest in history for a no-hitter, falling just short of Buffalo’s 18-0 victory over Detroit in 1884. Kris Bryant jake-arrieta-david-ross-8f52def44e686746matched a career high with six RBIs, hitting two home runs, including his third career grand slam. Bryant’s home runs were just two of five home runs by the Cubs. But obviously the night belonged to Arrieta, who threw his first career no-hitter 10 starts ago, on August 30th at Dodger Stadium. Only Warren Spahn, who threw two no-hitters five starts apart and Johnny Vander Meer, who threw back-to-back no-hitters, did it with fewer starts in between. It’s the 15th no-hitter in Cubs franchise history. Arrieta even helped himself at the plate, hitting two singles, drawing a walk and scoring a run. He did walk four and struck out six. “His command got better game in progress,” Joe Maddon said. “I thought early on, he was really fighting it. He was actually better out of the stretch than out of the windup — he had more consistent delivery and knew where the ball was going better.” Maddon didn’t have anyone warming up in the late innings because he didn’t want any negative vibe. Arrieta threw a season-high 119 pitches. “What can I say — he was spectacular,” Maddon said. After Jason Heyward caught Eugenio Suarez’s fly ball for the final out, Arrieta was mobbed by his teammates. A fan jumped onto the field and tried to join the celebration but was escorted off the field by security. “We always expect that from Jake,” Dexter Fowler said. “Any time he goes out there, you think he can throw one.” So how did the Cubs celebrate Arrieta’s no-hitter after the game? With pizza and beer, of course. Later that night, players got together in Dexter Fowler’s suite at the team hotel to reminisce about what happened hours earlier. “Hanging out with the boys like that are some of the most enjoyable moments of my career,” Arrieta said Friday. “The times that really create those bonds are the experiences we have off the field. Every moment of those are cherished.” Players ordered pizza, watched some basketball, and talked about the highlights from their big win. “That doesn’t happen everywhere,” Joe Maddon said. “I was told everybody was there. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a whole lot to people but that’s a pretty big deal. That every guy was on-board to show up to support Jake last night after the game. It speaks to the group. Loved it.”

Kyle-Schwarber

The Cubs anticipate a full recovery for Kyle Schwarber after he underwent left knee surgery on Tuesday in Dallas. Dr. Daniel Cooper, the head team physician for the Dallas Cowboys, reconstructed Schwarber’s ACL and repaired his LCL. The procedure did not reveal significant nerve damage. “It sounds like everything went as well as we could have hoped,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “There was nothing unexpected that was found in there.” It’s too early to set a timetable, but the best-case scenario could be having him medically cleared by spring training and in the 2017 Opening Day lineup.

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Former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas, best known for his no-hitter in 1972, passed away on Tuesday at age 76. He reportedly died of natural causes. Pappas spent the last four years of his career with the Cubs, going 51-41 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.258 WHIP in 763 innings. He went 17-7 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in that 1972 season. Pappas’ no-hitter on September 2nd, 1972 was surrounded with a lot of controversy. He nearly had a perfect game, but home plate umpire Bruce Froemming called a full-count pitch “Ball Four” on the 27th batter.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“The Cubs organization is sad to learn of the passing of Milt Pappas, who not only had a special place on the field with the team in the early 1970s but also maintained a relationship with Cubs fans as a frequent guest at Wrigley Field, the Cubs Convention and other team events. Milt will forever be remembered for one of the most dramatic pitching performances in team history as he delivered a no-hitter that neared perfection in 1972. Pappas ended his impressive career wearing a Cubs uniform, and we will always consider him part of the Chicago Cubs family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, relatives and fans as we mourn this loss.”

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