Did the Chicago Cubs really make a mistake not keeping Jake Arrieta?
As the self-proclaimed president of the Jake Arrieta fan club, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the team may have made the right call letting him walk in 2017.
God, it felt dirty to even type that. I have never enjoyed watching a guy pitch as much as I loved every time Jake Arrieta took the ball for the Chicago Cubs. It was more than watching a pitcher at work, it was like watching a swordsman completely overpower his opponent in both speed, strength and intelligence.
Arrieta, who turned 33 in March, helped the Cubs go from lovable losers to a perennial powerhouse. Alongside veteran left-hander Jon Lester, he led a ripe, inexperienced 2015 Cubs team to 97 wins, a National League Wild Card berth and, eventually, the team’s first NLCS appearance since 2003.
How did he do that? Only by turning in arguably the best season ever by a Chicago hurler. En route to NL Cy Young honors, Arrieta pitched to a 1.77 ERA in 33 starts, leading the league with four complete games and three shutouts – including the first no-hitter of his career against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 30.