Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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This space has been used on multiple occasions to espouse the fact that this year's version of the Chicago Cubs are an extremely good baseball team. They proved that again by delivering a comprehensive beatdown of the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night, winning 16-0. In the process, they improved to 12-4, boosted their run differential up to +60 (with help from two home runs -- including a grand slam -- from Kris Bryant) and, oh yeah: Jake Arrieta threw the second no-hitter of his career.
Simply put, the Cincinnati Reds may have just received the biggest defeat that any Major League Baseball team will suffer through this season. The 16 runs scored by the Cubs in this one was the most scored by a winning team in a no-hitter since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893, and it eclipsed the Chicago White Sox's 15-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in 1905 that included a no-hitter from Frank Smith. Also, this broke a lengthy streak of avoiding no-hitters for the Reds. Cincinnati had gone 7,109 games without being no-hit, and and that streak ended up being smashed to pieces after what the Cubs did to the Reds.
At its core, this was a beating of historical proportion. Sometimes you get plenty of drama in no-hitters, but there was very little of it in this one. No Reds runner made it past first base, and aside from walking four Reds batters and a couple of solid defensive plays in the third and fourth innings, Arrieta cruised through this game and the no-no seemed inevitable from the seventh inning on. This was simply an exhibition of just how good this Chicago Cubs team can be when their Cy Young-winning pitcher is at his best and their offense is at its potent finest. This was also proof of just how bad the bottom of the barrel in the National League can be this season. The NL contenders are going to feast on the minnows this year, and the Cubs just had the biggest meal of the season.
- Immediately after Jake Arrieta completed his second career no-no, you had your usual celebration of bouncing around with the pitcher at or near the mound. This included a random fan, as well. Security!
- Yesterday, the world lost a musical icon when Prince passed away at age 57. The Twins did their best to pay tribute to the legend who called Minneapolis home.
- Many players made sure to pay homage to Prince yesterday, with Alex Rodriguez going through the trouble of walking up to a different Prince song for his four at-bats.
- There's been a lot of talk about who's the better player between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, but a third candidate has emerged -- Manny Machado.
- Speaking of Trout, his two-run homer in the fifth helped the Angels earn a close victory over the Chicago White Sox.
- In the fourth inning of a surprisingly tied game with the Atlanta Braves, Kershaw worked a new pitch into his arsenal -- the good ol' eephus pitch!
- Another NL Central ace put his skills on display last night, as Gerrit Cole pitched six shutout innings during an 11-1 Pirates blowout of the Padres.
- The peaks that Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castelllanos can reach will depend on the valleys that he could possibly dip down into as a player.
- The Rangers will have to do without reliever Keone Kela for the next three months after the team announced that he was having surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow.
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