Game Notes: Cubs Sweep Nats

These Cubs and Nats squared off over the weekend, starting this series as division leaders who had both won five of their past six games. At 20-6 (Cubs) and 19-8 (Nats) both teams were off to franchise-best starts in the live ball era. After four games, the Cub juggernaut rolls on, leaving the Nationals to lick their wounds.

More on this series after the jump.

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Game Notes: Orioles and White Sox

Two division leaders in the early going squared off over the weekend, and halved a four game set in Baltimore. Chicago has undergone a wholesale makeover from the squad that placed fourth in the AL Central in 2015 with a 76-86 record. Baltimore has made fewer changes, hoping another year of experience for its younger players will result in an improvement on last year’s 81-81 record, good for third place in the AL East.

After the jump...

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Jacques arrêté les Rouges

Arrêté is French for stop, and that’s what Jake Arrieta did to the Reds on Thursday, holding Cincinnati hitless as the Cubs pounded their opponent by a 16-0 count. It’s the first no-hitter of the new season, the second of Arietta’s career, and his second in eleven regular season starts. The win pushes Arrieta’s record to a perfect 4-0 in four starts this season, with a microscopic 0.87 ERA.

More on Arrieta’s gem after the break...

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Run, Don’t Walk

MLB walk rates are at historic lows, another artifact of a declining run scoring environment. Rates below 8% of PAs have been recorded in both leagues for the past two seasons, levels not seen since the 1960s in the NL, and not seen previously in the AL in the live ball era.

More after the jump.

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Leadoff hitters: getting off on the wrong foot

Last season marked the 6th consecutive campaign with OBP below .330 for major league leadoff hitters. If it happens again in 2016, it will mark the first time since at least 1913 that that’s happened in 7 consecutive seasons. 2015 also marked the fourth straight season with at least 10% of major league teams posting a sub-.300 OBP from the number one hole; it’s the first time that’s happened in more than 40 years.

The good news (I guess) is that poor leadoff hitting didn’t stop the Kansas City Royals from becoming only the sixth team since 1913 to win the World Series with leadoff hitters posting a sub-.300 OBP...

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