Game 6 of the World Series is about to take place, and like Game 5, this is it for the Chicago Cubs. Win to play one more, or lose and go home. With everything on the line for the Cubs, Jake Arrieta will look to keep them alive for another game.
After being shut out and given a 1-0 series deficit to start the World Series, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta took the mound in Game 2 and helped to even the series up. In doing so, he was able to help calm some of the nerves felt by worried Cubs’ fans.
In Game 6, with elimination on the line, Arrieta will have the chance to help out once again. But this time things are a little different. Losing this time around wouldn’t make things tougher for the Cubs–it would simply be the end.
Arrieta was able to rise above the pressure in Game 2. Can he do it in Game 6 with the season on the line?
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There was a time when Cubs’ fans felt supremely confident about winning when it was Jake Arrieta’s turn to take the mound. The 2015 NL Cy Young award winner was so lights out the previous season, and even into this season, that winning was almost a sure thing for Arrieta. Now, Arrieta is still one of the best-starting pitchers around, but that assuredness is not quite as prominent as it once was.
Command has been an issue for Arrieta. It has come and gone for the right-hander all season long. Not just game to game, but also within games. Early in Game 2, it was a concern. Arrieta looked sharp as ever getting the first two outs in his first World Series start. The velocity was great, and he was hitting his spots. Then he walked his next two batters. From there he would hold the Cleveland Indians hitless for 5-1/3 innings.
For Arrieta to keep this game within reach for the Cubs, he’ll need to have that command working. While the fastball command is important, it’s his command of his curveball that can do the most damage. When he’s able to throw that pitch for a strike, good luck even touching it. But if that pitch has trouble crossing the zone, that’s when the walks begin to be a problem.
The Snake loves these situations
One thing we’ve learned since Arrieta’s emergence as one of the league’s most dominant pitchers? He embraces these types of situations. Leading up to the 2015 Wild Card game, Arrieta’s demeanor oozed with confidence. With the season on the line, Arrieta absolutely wants to be the guy to keep the ship afloat.
You have to love a guy that faces adversity like that. It’s standard for any player to say they’re ready for situations like this, even though they might be nervous on the inside. But with Arrieta, you can tell he means it when he says he’s ready to deliver.
This kind of game won’t make things tougher for Arrieta. In fact, I think it helps him. After the first inning of Game 2, when things started to get rocky, Arrieta stepped up and looked like his Cy Young-winning self.
Despite there being two shutouts, this has been one of the most entertaining World Series’ I’ve watched. Two teams with a combined 176-year World Series drought going head-to-head.
A 3-1 series deficit is historically hard to overcome in the World Series. Only four teams have pulled it off, with the last team being the 1985 Kansas City Royals. But hey, with all the waiting Cubs’ fans have been doing, it would only be fitting that this come with a bit of drama.