Jake Arrieta is on some kind of run. The Chicago Cubs’ right-hander hasn’t lost a regular season game since July 25th of last year, a span covering 17 outings and he has allowed only three earned runs in a single game once. To top it all off, Arrieta fired a no-hitter last night as the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 16-0. That’s the 30-year old Arrieta’s second no-no in eight months.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets, who have been playing baseball since 1962 have exactly one no-hitter in franchise history.
The point here is not to bash the Mets. Heck, the San Diego Padres have been playing ball for a long time and have never had a no-hitter OR a player to hit for the cycle. It’s just amazing to me that an organization that has had a number of excellent pitchers throughout their history has had only one game where the opposing team did not record a hit. The legendary Tom Seaver had five one-hitters; the closest he came to reaching one was on July 9, 1969 when the Cubs’ Jim Qualls broke it up with one out in the ninth inning. Tom Terrific finally got his on June 16th, 1978 as a member of the Reds.
Think of all the other outstanding pitchers in Mets’ history. Nolan Ryan, though he would go on to greater heights elsewhere, spent the first four seasons of his career in New York. Jerry Koosman, who pitched in the first two Met World Series, won 140 games in 12 seasons here. There wasn’t a more exciting pitcher in baseball for a stretch in the mid-1980’s than Dwight Gooden. Guys that were big-time pitchers for the Mets over the years such as David Cone, Frank Viola, Sid Fernandez and Ron Darling never tossed or came close to tossing a no-hitter for the Amazins’.
The one no-hitter the Mets did get came on June 1, 2012 by Johan Santana. Mind you, this wasn’t the dominant Santana that won two Cy Young Awards with the Minnesota Twins. This wasn’t even the Santana the Mets first got in 2008, the one who pitched a memorable three-hit shutout in game 161 of that season. This was the Santana that would go on to pitch in exactly ten more Major League games before injuries wrecked his career. He is only 37 right now and still trying to resurrect his career.
The current crop of young Met pitchers represent the next chance for a no-hitter. Perhaps one of them will throw one this year and the franchise can match Arrieta’s total. The bigger question for Arrieta is can he pitch the Cubs into the World Series? That would be a bigger accomplishment than throwing another three no-hitters in 2016.
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