Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: North Siders On Fire To Start Season

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Apr 21, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta is interviewed on the field after he pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs won 16-0. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta is interviewed on the field after he pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs won 16-0. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs are “en fuego”, to use a popular sports expression. Yes, on fire, to start this season –with a lot of expectation from the growing fan-base.

The Cubbies are 13-4 and sport the best record in the majors pending the outcome of Saturday’s results. They haven’t had this sort of start since decades ago. I read since 1970 in one article, and that year the Cubs didn’t get to the post-season.

But last year they did get to the post-season, winning a wild card game and their first series in the National League Division Series against the rival Cardinals. Now, with their mega-haul in the offseason, re-signing Dexter Fowler, and signing free-agents, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward, Cubs fans likely thought, “now we’re going to the World Series.” Right now, it’s lookin’  pretty good.

I heard a baseball commentator talk of the Cubs saying they have so much talent, “they come at you in waves, you might not get hit by the first one, but they keep coming at you.”

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And, then check out Jake Arrieta’s second career no-hitter against the Reds when the Cubs scored 16 runs. That was the highest run margin in a no-hitter since the game was almost invented. He threw 119 pitches, but no one is counting now.

Afterward, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, “you have to respect greatness.” Arrieta has 20-1 record in his last 24 regular season starts and an off the charts, 0.84 ERA. He is the first Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter in back-to-back seasons.

I believe it was the first time a Cubs pitcher has thrown a no-hitter while a Cubs hitter (Kris Bryant) hit a grand-slam in the same game.

Next: Facts on Stats for Arrieta's no-no

At present, the Cubs starting pitchers lead the majors with an ERA of 2.13. In 16 of 17 games they have gone at least six innings. Jon Lester threw seven strong innings vs. Cincinnati on Friday night, to lower his ERA to 1.98. As I said, the Cubs are on fire.

How long will this “hotness” last?  No one knows, but it sure is fun to see. Kyle Schwarber is out for the season with ligament damage to his knee, and the Cubs seem not to miss a beat.

It is April and the Chicago Cubs are playing great.

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