I’m going to be honest with you guys. Jake Arrieta is not the best pitcher in the game. Sure, he threw 11 strikeouts yesterday and his ERA is second only to the immortal Clayton Kershaw. Oh yeah, then there’s that Cy Young award he won last year.
Wait. I almost forgot he’s 11-1 on the season, but he’s not the best pitcher in the game.
Yesterday he went to work and his command wasn’t the best but he still found a way to help the Cubs win a 6-0 shutout over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Execution is the most important aspect of facing a team multiple times, especially a short time span or a division rival that you see a lot,” he said. “The more times a guy sees you, the more exposed you’ll be on mistakes. I don’t care if a guy is 0-fer against me in 30 at-bats. The more he sees me, the more comfort that’s probably gonna be there. When you face a team multiple times like that, you have to try and minimize the mistakes, because at some point they will take advantage of it.”
Ah, but he’s the most realistic pitcher out there and that makes him dangerous. That’s why he’s able to craftily pick apart opposing batters with ease and skill. Maybe he’s the most empathetic pitcher in the game?
“We have no reason to be fearful of anything,” said Arrieta. “We’re what, 2 1/2 months into the season? And we’ve all shown the ability to have a lot of success consistently thus far. I think that breeds more confidence. The mindset going out there is [the starters] seem to be in attack mode from the get-go and trusting their stuff. That’s kind of what happens when you have that mindset. You have guys with good stuff, who know how to pitch, who learn from each other.”
But he shouldn’t stop at the pitching, they’ve also got guys like Matt Szczur, who launched a home run at his first At Bat of the game. I think it’s those guys that have been crucial to the Cubs’ success this season.
Yesterday, the Cubs called up Willson Contreras as their much coveted rookies are making their presence felt in the Cubs lineup. If the Cubs do make it to post season glory, and I’m not just talking about the playoffs folks, the Cubs will have a had a season to remember and in many ways, it’s almost cinematic the way that the young Cubs are doing so well.
“My first thought was, ‘Wow, now is my time,’” Contreras said. “Since I got here, I’ve been living my dream.”