Jake Arrieta's 2015 season is still something that many look back on and have a hard time believing really happened. He didn't allow a single run in 12 of his 33 starts that season, while only allowing teams to score more than 2 runs 7 times the entire season. He was the biggest reason the Cubs went on such an incredible tear towards the end of the season, as Arrieta was the closest thing to an automatic win baseball had seen that season.
And on this day three years ago, Arrieta's 2015 seasons officially became something truly special, throwing the first no-hitter of his career and the first Cub to do it since 2008. But what was the most satisfying about the game was the way Arrieta did it, striking out 12 batters with easily some of his most filthy stuff Cubs fans had ever been spoiled with.
The then 29-year-old had been dominating all season long, having not allowed a run in 4 of his 5 starts in August, but Arrieta had only reached double-digit strikeouts twice prior to this outing. The Cubs were treated to a pitching performance that was nothing short of gutsy from Arrieta, almost daring batters to try and do something with his weaving two-seamer and his devasting slider that registered above 90 mph.
And the best part was that he did this all on ESPN, the first time the national spotlight at been truly put on Arrieta, and all he did was throw his best game of the season. It seemed like whenever Jake needed to step up or show up for a game, he did more than just show he was good - he proved he special.
He cruised through 8 innings of baseball, with his burly beard and a jersey soaked to the bone in sweat, Jake Arrieta cemented his legacy as a Chicago Cub only needing a two-run homer from Kris Bryant to guide his club to a win.
The final inning, with his pitch count already over 100, Arrieta had to face in this order Justin Turner, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley to lock down not only just a no-hitter but a crucial win for the Cubs who were in the race for a wild-card spot as well as the NL Central crown. And in classic Arrieta fashion, he struck out the side and was carried out into the night on Miguel Montero's shoulders, drenched in Gatorade and whatever else the Cubs dugout could find.
Arrieta and the Cubs would continue to go on a tear, winning 24 of their final 33 games, and Jake wouldn't be charged with a loss the rest of the way constantly going 7-plus innings to help ensure a Cubs victory. And while many talk about Arrieta's incredible starts against Pittsburgh in the Wild-Card play-in game, his best performance of his Cy-Young season came in Hollywood on this day three years ago.