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Jake Arrieta in a league of his own when it comes to numbers, no-hitters

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta is 15-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his past 17 starts. David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it’s time for Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta to get promoted beyond the major leagues.

With his no-hitter on Thursday, Jake Arrieta is now 15-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his past 17 starts. He’s allowed 61 hits in 125 1/3 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .143 against him.

It’s a span that began after a no-hitter -- one thrown by Cole Hamels of the Phillies. Arrieta, who lost that game to Hamels, now has two of his own. What else is there to know about them?

This one was a 16-0 romp for the Cubs over the Cincinnati Reds, the most runs scored by a team throwing a no-hitter in 132 years. Only one surpassed it, an 18-0 win by the 1884 Buffalo Bisons and pitcher Pud Galvin against the Detroit Wolverines.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Arrieta is one of two pitchers to be unbeaten between no-hitters. The other pitcher, Johnny Vander Meer, threw consecutive no-hitters.

Arrieta became the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-hitter, joining Sandy Koufax (1964 Dodgers), Bob Gibson (1971 Cardinals) and Clayton Kershaw (2014 Dodgers).

Arrieta has allowed five earned runs in his past 13 regular-season starts combined. Former Cy Young Award winners David Price, Max Scherzer and Dallas Keuchel all allowed at least five earned runs in starts on Thursday. Price allowed eight earned runs. Arrieta has allowed seven in his past 119 1/3 innings pitched.

Arrieta is the third Cubs pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters, joining Larry Corcoran (three) and Ken Holtzman (two). There are four employed active pitchers with two no-hitters -- Justin Verlander, Scherzer and Homer Bailey are the other three. Tim Lincecum and Mark Buehrle also have no-hitters; they aren't currently on rosters but could pitch in 2016.

This was the 32nd no-hitter of the decade. That’s only two shy of the total number from the 1960s, the decade with the most no-hitters (34).

It was the second no-hitter thrown on April 21. The other was Philip Humber’s perfect game for the White Sox against the Mariners in 2012. Humber announced his retirement last month after failing to make the Padres' Opening Day roster.

April 21 is notable for Arrieta for another reason. On April 21, 2013, Arrieta took the loss for the Orioles against the Dodgers after a disastrous fifth inning in which he loaded the bases on two walks and hit a batter, then gave up a bases-loaded, two-run single and was relieved by T.J. McFarland, who gave up the other two earned runs for Arrieta that inning.

Arrieta would make one more start for the Orioles in June, then be traded to the Cubs. Since that rough outing on April 21, 2013, Arrieta has taken off. He’s 40-14 with a 2.25 ERA.

And lastly, it was not just Arrieta’s second no-hitter. It was also his second multihit game.

How he won

Arrieta had 19 balls hit into play against him, none of which were hard-hit balls. Since last August, Arrieta has five starts where he didn't allow a hard-hit ball. No other pitcher has more than three such starts in that span.

Arrieta threw his fastball 79 times, tied for his most fastballs thrown in a game in his career. Arrieta threw his fastball for 66.4 percent of his pitches, his most in a start since May of 2014 against the Cardinals. Though only one of Arrieta's six strikeouts came with his fastball, he did not allow a hard-hit ball against it on the 12 times it was put into play.