The Chicago Cubs sent ace Jake Arrieta to the mound on Friday night and, as usual, they came away with the win. The Cubs have now won 22 straight Arrieta starts, tied for the second-longest such streak in MLB history behind Kris Medlen (23 from 2010-12), according to Elias Sports Bureau data.
Arrieta does not lose
Arrieta has now won his last 16 road decisions, dating back to last season. Only Greg Maddux (18 straight in 1994-95) has a longer streak in MLB history.
He has received a lot of help from his offense this season: The Cubs have outscored their opponents by 58 runs in Arrieta's nine starts, tied for the best run differential in a pitcher's first nine starts of a season in the modern era (since 1900), according to Elias research. The next-best run differential in a pitcher's starts this season is Stephen Strasburg's plus-37.
The Cubs have scored 72 runs during Arrieta's nine starts this season. They have won 26 straight games in which they have provided Arrieta at least one hit of support. (Arrieta's only loss during that period came during Cole Hamels' no-hitter on July 25.)
On Friday night, Arrieta had eight strikeouts, tying his second most this season, as he allowed one run in seven innings. However, his swinging strike rate (9.0 percent) and miss rate (19.2 percent) were season lows, and his well-hit average (.160) was his second worst this season.
Cubs continue historic pace
Through 40 games this season, the Cubs have outscored opponents by 113 runs. Only six teams have had better run differentials through 40 games in the World Series era (since 1903), with only one of those teams playing during the past 80 seasons (1984 Tigers).
Each of the previous eight teams with a plus-100 run differential through 40 games won the pennant, and all but two won the World Series.
The last time the Cubs had a run differential of plus-113 or better through 40 games was in 1886.
The Cubs are now 29-11 through 40 games, their best 40-game start since 1907. The last team to win 29 of their first 40 games were the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 (also managed by Joe Maddon).
Giants' streak snapped
Friday's loss snaps an eight-game winning streak for the San Francisco Giants, which was their longest since 2004. The Giants had not scored more than five runs in any of those games, as they were the first team since the 1969 Mets to win at least eight straight games without scoring more than five runs in any of them. The streak of scoring five or fewer runs continued, but the win streak did not.
The Giants had allowed exactly one run in their previous four games, but after a scoreless first inning on Friday, their good fortune came to an end in the second, as the Cubs scored five runs. And that was all Chicago needed -- since Arrieta has not allowed that many runs in a game since May 23, 2015.