Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta’s place amongst all-time team greats

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Greatest Cubs pitching seasons

To remind, Arrieta’s 2015 Cy Young season began respectably but not auspiciously. After 13 starts, his record stood at 6-5 with a 3.40 ERA, but then he flipped a switch.

More from Cubbies Crib

His BAA and BAbip fell from .242 and .312, respectively, to .150 and .208 the rest of the way. His WHIP dropped like a Bruce Sutter splitter from 1.16 to 0.700, and his second-half ERA (0.75) was among the lowest ever for a full-time starter.

To compare against other great Cubs, start with the organization’s five Cy Young seasons: Ferguson Jenkins (1971), Bruce Sutter (1979), Rick Sutcliffe (1984), Greg Maddux (1992) and Arrieta’s 2015.

Let’s also replace Sutter’s 1979 with 1977, which was statistically superior. Next, throw in Lon Werneke’s 1932 season and Bill Lee in 1938. Both were MVP runners-up to position players, thus the NL’s best pitcher in those pre-Cy Young Award years.

Last, toss in Rick Reuschel’s 1977 that was Cy Young-worthy if not for playing on such an average team, and Dick Ellsworth’s 1962 for its amazing WAR.