Jake Arrieta is absolutely on fire and what better time to be burning than the World Series! Jake was the best pitcher in baseball last season--Cy Young winner, no big deal. He almost broke Bob Gibson's MLB record 26 consecutive quality starts, getting to 24 in a row and coming within one single inning of keeping that incredible streak going. Jake finished last year with a mind-blowing 1.77 ERA and was so nasty unhittable that people were accusing him of steroids. To those haters Jake said, "Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly. I’ll see on Twitter, 'My close source revealed to me he’s on steroids.' Well, the 10 tests I take a year say otherwise. I eat plants. I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way." What a stud.
For as great as he was last year and at the beginning of this year, a lot of people have doubted Jake this season. Although he finished 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA, he had a few off months, at least off by Jake Arrieta standards. Jake's 2016 monthly ERAs were: 1.00 in April; 2.08 in May; 3.54 in June; 4.88 in July; 3.21 in August; and 4.60 in September. Yes, his ERA went up a lot, but still, his relative consistency in IP, hits allowed, and strikeouts (although all three statistics admittedly did slightly fluctuate, too) weren't nearly as alarming as most Chicagoans desperately rang the bell about. He's a veteran, top of the league guy, and that's why Joe Maddon started him in game 2 of the WORLD SERIES last night.
Speaking of last night, holy cows did Jakey look like the accused-of-steroids, flamethrowing ace version of himself that he still is. He had a few wild pitches here and there, but those just come with Jake's awesome, cross-body delivery. Otherwise, his delivery delivered: 5.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 run (earned, too), 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, 3 groundballs, 10 flyballs, and 98 total pitches, all for not only the impressive, dominant win, but also a 1.59 ERA, dropping Jake's postseason ERA to a strong 3.78. Oh, and by the way, Jake had a no hitter going through 5.1 innings. That's the longest anyone's taken a no-hitter in a World Series game since 1969. Jake was taking names and kicking ass pretty good last night, helping to essentially reverse the blowout from the night before. For a night when everyone in the ballpark was freezing cold--opening temperature was 43 degrees--Jake Arrieta was hot, hot, hot.
For everyone that has doubted and still doubts Jake Arrieta, perhaps now you can doubt no more. Jake's heat last night shows that he still is hot, hot, hot. Jake Arrieta is still the man.
Winning game two 5-1--if you haven't read or heard by now, the offense did a classic 2016 Cubs post-loss 180 and turned it super-on last night--and splitting the opening away series is huge for this Cubs team, who will play the next three games at Wrigley. If momentum keeps going for the Cubbies, that means that last night may be the last night of baseball in Cleveland for 2016. Yes, the Cubs lost big in game one, but man oh man, they won big in game two. However, this Cleveland team is great, so it's probably most realistic to expect a return to Cleveland.
If the Series does go back to Progressive Field, don't worry. Although Allstate's motto is "You're in Good Hands," I think it's safe to say that the 2016 Chicago Cubs can also insure we're in good hands, especially when the hands are throwing the ball like Jake Arrieta did in game two.