There was a time being a Chicago Cubs fan meant being treated like that kid in the back of those comic books, you know the kid who gets sand kicked in his face every time he tries to ask out the girl, play beach volleyball or just minding his own business.
This year is that day. People aren’t laughing at the “Lovable Losers” anymore. Last night Jake Arrieta earned his sixth victory of the season on route to a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The last time a Cubs pitcher won his first six starts, a three fingered guy named Mordecai”Three Finger” Brown did it. I don’t have to tell you how long ago that was but when a guy has a name like Three Finger, you know the Model T was a pipe dream.
“I think the turnover is so fast,” Arrieta said. “I have to come out tommorow and get ready for my next start back at Wrigley Field, so you try and enjoy it, but it’s short lived because of the goals that we have here. We play so many games, so it’s smart to turn the page as quick as possible and get on to the next work day.”
The thing that is working so well for Arrieta is he does it from all sides. Whether it’s jogging to first to help Anthony Rizzo with the out or taking his At Bat, the guy is a true definition of the Workhorse pitcher.
“The last couple games he struggled with his command.” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought he righted himself pretty well tonight. I thought, and I don’t know this for sure, but he might have backed off velocity-wise to gain command. By the end of the game that ball was moving a lot and you could see some of the takes by Pirate hitters, and they were strikes.”
For years, the National League Central belonged to the St Louis Cardinals or one of the other teams with the rare occurrence of a Cubs team making a push, but this season the distance between the competition is getting larger and larger. The Cubs are five games ahead of Pittsburgh and seven games ahead of the Cardinals. However, before we hand over the championship to the North Siders an expert warns,
“We interrupt the coronation of the Cubs to remind you that the NL Central features two other contenders with powerful offences.” Ken Rosenthal from Fox Sports.
This is the Cubs after all, and no matter how strong their team is in spring, it’s that season when the days are hot and the nights cool that really matter. When children are back in school telling their friends how awesome their summer was, it’s that time of year when their friends believe the cool stories of the lazy crazy days.
Not going to lie to you, I’m excited for the Cubs but there’s a skeptic in me, a little crack in the belief, then it gets healed when I see that Ivy.