Here's a look at how the 5 MLB Frogs faired the week of April 18-24, 2016:
Jake Arrieta (P/Chicago Cubs) - It finally happened. Even with jinxes flying left and right from the MLB Twitter page and Cincinnatians everywhere, Jake Arrieta pitched a no-hitter. He defied every jinx thrown at him, and Cincinnati tried their best to jinx him 3 times. But on April 21, he not only walked away with a no-hitter, the Cubs won 16-0 in Cincinnati. Arrieta threw 119 pitches, which isn't bad for a full game. He walked 4 batters and struck out 6. Of course, the celebration all over Twitter was sensational, especially when you consider the following:
-This is Arrieta's 2nd no-hitter since August 30, 2015, when he no-hit the Dodgers.
What a run it has been for Jake Arrieta. pic.twitter.com/I1UzxS23Ed— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 24, 2016
-1st pitcher in Cubs history to pitch a no-hitter in back-to-back seasons.
ICYMI: Jake Arrieta became 1st pitcher in Cubs history to throw no-hitters in back-to-back seasons. pic.twitter.com/MYM9cW3ufX— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 22, 2016
-In last 16 regular-season starts, Arrieta is 15-0 with a .54 ERA.
In his last 16 regular-season starts, Jake Arrieta is 15-0 with a 0.54 ERA and two no-hitters.— ESPN (@espn) April 22, 2016
That is not normal. pic.twitter.com/jKa3vG65YM
-He has 9 starts between no-hitters, which is the third fewest in MLB history.
Jake Arrieta is on an absolute tear right now. pic.twitter.com/9drmoHgFKk— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 22, 2016
-Arrieta's only loss in his last 21 starts was when the opposing pitcher threw a no-hitter against him.
Jake Arrieta has been absolutely dominant in the last 24 starts. His only loss came when his team was no-hit. pic.twitter.com/YpBKdF8uhx— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 22, 2016
Arrieta's ERA is currently .87 with a WHIP of .68. You can see more stats from his 2016 season here.
Matt Carpenter (3B/St. Louis Cardinals) - Carpenter went 1 for 3 in his home game against the Cubs on April 18. He couldn't get further than 2nd base, and the Cardinals lost 5-0. The second game of the series saw Carpenter go 1 for 4, with no more than a single in another Cards loss 2-1. The final game didn't see much action from Carpenter, either; however St. Louis managed to win 5-3. April 22 saw Carpenter vs. the Padres' Cashner pitching. Carpenter struck out twice in 4 at-bats and went hitless. On April 23, he was a pinch-hitter and managed an RBI in the top of the 7th to bring in Yadier Molina. The Cardinals won 11-2. On April 24, he was back at the top of the lineup for the final game of the series. He hit a triple deep to right field in the top of the 8th to bring in Matt Adams. Carpenter's AVG is currently .226.For more stats from Carpenter's 2016 season, click here.
Andrew Cashner (P/San Diego Padres) - Well, hello, Mr. Cashner. It's nice to see you with another solid game! Cashner faced the Cardinals at home on April 22. He pitched 6 innings and only allowed 1 earned run. He walked 1 and struck out 4 for a great game and the 4-1 win. It seems like he might finally be finding his groove as a pitcher this year, versus the rocky season he had last year. Cashner's ERA is currently 4.29, with a WHIP of 1.24. For more of Cashner's stats, click here.
Brandon Finnegan (P/Cincinnati Reds) - While our Frog hearts were cheering for Arrieta on April 21, they were also breaking for Finnegan. The Reds pitcher was thisclose last week to that no-hitter, before everyone started throwing jinxes at him (I'm looking at you, MLB Twitter). On Thursday, he allowed 5 earned runs, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 4 innings pitched. His ERA is currently 3.74 with a WHIP of 1.25. For more on Finnegan's MLB season, you can go here.
Bryan Holaday (C/Texas Rangers) - You may remember from last season that my dad is former college baseball player and Babe Ruth Series Hall of Famer. Now, he's an avid Rangers fan with season tickets. He was so excited to be there to see Holaday make some smart plays on Wednesday night that he decided to give me his own recap. So, in his own words, here's a recap of Holaday's wise decision-making that helped the Rangers get the W on April 20:
"In the Rangers 2-1 win on Wednesday, Cole Hamels got off to a rocky start after hitting two batters and giving up 3 consecutive singles. But thanks to two unusual defensive plays, Hamels managed to escape with no runs given up. TCU's Bryan Holaday was an integral part of both plays.
In the first inning, the Astros had Jose Altuve on second base and George Springer on first base with 1 out. Clean-up batter Tyler White had two strikes when Hamels blew a fastball by him for strike three. Altuve and Springer broke on the pitch, with Altuve getting a tremendous jump. Rather than try to get Altuve out at Third, which would have been very unlikely, Holaday threw to Second in time to get Springer for a Strike Out Throw Out inning ending double play! Brilliant!!!
But the more unusual play came in the second with Bases loaded and no outs. Martin Gonzalez lifted a fly ball to medium depth right field. The Rangers' rookie sensation Nomar Mazara caught the ball for the first out, then fired a frozen rope to Holaday, who caught the ball chest high in the air just in front of Home Plate. The runner from 3rd, Colby Rasmussen had tagged and started down the line, but, after seeing the throw, quickly retreated to Third. However, Carlos Gomez, the runner on First, did not see him stop and broke to Second Base. Holaday, seeing Gomez halfway between First and Second, fired the ball to Rougned Odor covering First. Odor ran towards Gomez as Rasmys against broke towards home. Odor fired the ball back to Holaday, who applied the tag on Rasmus as he tried to get back to Third. Another Double Play thanks to Holaday's quick thinking. A weak grounder to 3rd by the next batter ended the threat and the inning."
So there you have it folks--straight from the man who taught me to love baseball and still plays softball up to 4 times a week. Anyone else wondering what the heck a "frozen rope" is?? It's a ball thrown so fast that it travels in a perfectly straight lineâkind of like Elsa shooting ice into Anna's heart. Yeah, I just brought it back to Disney movies for you.
Unfortunately, Holaday didn't have any luck at the plate on Wednesday, but the Rangers won 2-1 after his fancy defensive moves. On April 21, the series against Houston continued. Holaday had a single in the bottom of the 2nd that didn't lead anywhere. In the bottom of the 4th he had a single to shallow left but then got picked off first for the first out of the inning. He flied out in the bottom of the 6th and was walked in the bottom of the 8th. The Rangers won 7-4. April 22 started a series at Chicago that saw the Rangers struggling. They were blown out 5-0 on Friday, with Holaday managing one hit. Holaday didn't have any luck on Saturday, either, and the Rangers lost 4-3. He sat out for the final game of the series, which also ended in a Rangers loss of 4-1. Holaday's AVG is .200. You can find his MLB stats here.