At the height of his super powers, Jake Arrieta enjoyed one of the best nights during his best individual season on the same Dodger Stadium mound he will stand on Friday night.
The Chicago Cubs right-hander threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers on Aug. 30, 2015, in a signature moment of his Cy Young Award season as the Cubs were showing signs of being a World Series contender.
He no doubt was reminded of the moment Thursday night when four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory.
Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel walked a total of eight batters, yet they nailed down the 17th no-hitter in Cubs history and the seventh in the major leagues this season to tie a modern-day record.
When Arrieta threw his no-no, the Cubs were still another year away from earning a long-awaited World Series title. His effort in a Sunday night outing, on national television no less, was a coming-of-age moment for a team on the move.
Not quite the same immovable force these days, Arrieta (5-8, 5.45 ERA) could benefit from returning to a venue where he has such a positive memory. He has lost each of his past four decisions and is coming off a three-inning start in his team’s 11-1 loss to the Miami Marlins on Saturday when he gave up six runs (four earned) on six hits, two of which were home runs.
“I didn’t pick them up,” Arrieta said after the outing. “That’s the most frustrating part of the day for me is not keeping us in a position where we had a chance to win. The game was pretty much out of hand after the first three innings.”
The 35-year-old veteran seemed to suggest better days could be ahead.
“The stuff was as good as it’s been in a long time,” Arrieta said.
In eight starts against the Dodgers in his career, Arrieta is 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA. In five starts in Los Angeles, he is 2-3 with a 3.66 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 32 innings.
The Dodgers will send Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 3.00 ERA) to the mound for the fourth start of the year. Since he made his season debut on June 9, after spending two months on the injured list because of shoulder inflammation, Gonsolin has not gone more than 3 2/3 innings.
The 27-year-old right-hander threw 81 pitches in a 3 2/3-inning performance June 14 against the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a renewed bout of shoulder soreness, he was limited to 46 pitches Sunday at Arizona. Gonsolin held the Diamondbacks to one run on three hits in another 3 2/3-inning outing.
The Dodgers aren’t expected to push Gonsolin much further. What they really need is some offense after scoring a combined seven runs over their past four games, all defeats.
Los Angeles was swept in a three-game series at San Diego earlier in the week, then didn’t manage a hit Thursday. Dodgers leadoff man Mookie Betts moved to strike down any concerns about the offense.
“We play 162 games, and I don’t know many teams that are hot for 162 games,” said Betts, who sat out the Wednesday game at San Diego with a stomach bug. “You just go with the waves.”
Said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: “I think that (Friday) we need to turn the page and get ready for Arrieta. But when something like (a no-hitter) happens, you want it to sting a little bit … because it stings me.”
–Field Level Media