Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta ready to go for his team in Game 2


After a gutsy performance in Game 3 of the NLDS, Chicago Cubs’ ace Jake Arrieta is looking to lead his team to a series-evening win in Game 2 of the NLCS.

In his last start, the Chicago Cubs’ hurler wasn’t his usual self.

That’s not to say he wasn’t effective; he pitched into the sixth, striking out nine and allowing four earned runs in a game Chicago eventually won by an 8-6 final. But he, and Cubs Nation, knew he wasn’t in the same form we saw in the Wild Card Game earlier this month.

Now, that’s all behind the Cy Young candidate, who won 22 games while tossing four complete games and three shutouts – all of which led the league. He’s working on an extra day’s rest and is recharged for Sunday night’s Game 2 showdown with the New York Mets at Citi Field.

"“Obviously, there are certain things you can’t control,” Arrieta said Saturday. “But physically, my body feels great. There’s some still some work for me to be done, and I don’t think I’ve gotten to the end of my leash yet.”"

This season, the right-hander has been absolutely dominant against pretty much everyone he’s faced. He posted the lowest second-half earned run average in the history of Major League Baseball, helping lead the Cubs to a 97-win regular season, the club’s most in over a half-decade.

His starts against the New York Mets were no different; he is 2-0 with a minuscule 1.13 earned run average against Terry Collins‘ club this season. But make no mistake, this is not the same offense the Cubs ran rough shod over in seven games this year.

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Daniel Murphy is the hottest hitter in baseball right now – he’s taken Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke deep this postseason – and when you add in a piece like Yoenis Cespedes to the lineup card, everything changes.

Also keep in mind, David Wright did not play against the Chicago Cubs in the regular season, but is back and ready to lead the Mets to their first World Series appearance since the famous 2000 Subway Series against the New York Yankees.

The odds are already against Chicago moving forward; the teams that won the opener of a seven-game LCS are 36-22 in history – not insurmountable odds, but a tad lopsided, to be sure. But if there’s anyone capable and ready to pull the Chicago Cubs even in this best-of-seven showdown, it’s their ultra-competitive ace Jake Arrieta.

Next: Could the Chicago Cubs target Greinke this offseason?

20 K, 14.2 IP