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Chicago Cubs Rookie Pitcher In Elite Company After Latest Start

Chicago Cubs rookie pitcher Ben Brown is among elite company in franchise histroy and MLB history

The Chicago Cubs have seemingly struck gold with rookie right-hander Ben Brown. The versatile Cubs pitcher has been used both as a starter and out of the bullpen in 2024. Brown started last night against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and put together his most dominant outing so far this season. He threw seven no-hit innings and struck out 10. With his pitch count at 93, he was pulled after the seventh inning. However, his performance helped him earn both MLB and franchise history.

Ben Brown Makes MLB and Franchise History With Latest Start

In the modern era, two pitchers have had starts with 10+ strikeouts and no runs or hits allowed in their first MLB season. The first to do it was Pittsburgh Pirates rookie phenom Paul Skenes against the Cubs on May 17 this year. Brown became the second pitcher to do so last night against the Brewers. Both instances resulted in the starters being pulled with the no-hitter still intact, something that’s becoming increasingly common.

Brown also joined some elite company among Cubs pitchers. He became just the third Cubs pitcher to throw 7+ innings, have 10 strikeouts, and allow no hits in a start. The other two were Carlos Zambrano and Jake Arrieta. Zambrano threw a no-hitter on September 14, 2008 against the Houston Astros in a game relocated to Milwaukee’s Miller Park due to hurricane damage in Texas. Then on August 30, 2015, Jake Arrieta tossed a no-no against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, Brown was traded to the Cubs in 2022 for pitcher David Robertson. Brown, 24, made his MLB debut this year out of the starting rotation for the Cubs. The plan was to have Brown be more of a long relief guy out of the bullpen. However, early injuries in the rotation forced Brown into the starting role immediately.

Cubs Rookie Pitcher is a Versatile Asset

As Cubs starters began to return from injuries, the Cubs moved Brown back to the bullpen. With a fastball that touches 98 MPH and a devastating curveball, Brown has electric stuff. According to Baseball Savant, Brown’s curveball has a run value (the run impact of an event based on the runners on base, outs, ball and strike count) of 9, the best in MLB. He also ranks in the 90th percentile in overall pitching run value. Brown’s versatility is part of his value, as he can eat up big innings out of the bullpen or make spot starts like he did last night.

In his last three appearances, two of which have been starts, Brown has tossed 13 scoreless innings. In that same span, he’s allowed just two hits while striking out 19. With a 2.72 ERA on the season and just two home runs allowed in 46 1/3 innings, Brown is doing his job in whatever role he is given. The Cubs wound up winning last night’s game, despite the bullpen giving the lead away again in the ninth inning. If the struggling Cubs are to get back on track, Ben Brown will undoubtedly be a key factor.



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