Getting two-hit by the Pittsburgh Pirates was not precisely how the Chicago Cubs wanted to start their season, losing on Opening Day by a score of 5-3. However, the North Siders bounced back and won their next two games against Pittsburgh and Monday evening’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Though the season is just starting, this series win is a good sign moving forward. The future is uncertain, and it is best to garner as many wins the team can as early as possible, and this is what the Cubs have done thus far. Saturday’s dub was the Cubs’ first of the year, and one of the significant factors that went into that victory was Jake Arrieta’s performance.
A 35-year-old Arrieta took the mound for the first time since returning to Wrigley Field and rejoining the Cubs and his first with Chicago since Games 4 of the National League Championship Series in 2017.
While Arrieta’s homecoming didn’t exactly replicate his 2015 form, he still showed that he has what it takes to improve, compete and succeed in 2021. With that being said, Arrieta might have a ways to go, but it is not impossible for him to work his way back to his old self and who knows, just maybe he can have an All-Star caliber season in 2021.
Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta could have an All-Star caliber season in 2021.
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The bottom line is in his first game of the season and back in a Cubs uniform, Arrieta showed that he is back and ready to give the season his all. On Saturday, the right-hander threw 84 pitches in six innings, with five strikeouts only giving up one run. While he wasn’t hitting upwards of 97 MPH on his fastball, he still hit 91-93 MPH regularly.
Out of the six innings, he pitched, the worst was the first. In that frame, Arrieta gave up a walk, two hits, and a run. After that, he got into a groove and was able to have a strong, successful outing. During his previous five-year tenure with the Cubs, Arrieta went 68-31, posting a 2.73 ERA across 128 starts.
There is no denying that the best season of Arrieta’s career was in 2015 when he owned a stellar 1.77 ERA and went 22-6. If that weren’t enough, as a Cub, he won the NL Cy Young in 2015 and greatly contributed to the team winning the championship in 2016. Not only has he become a fan favorite, but his past contributions leave hope for his future with the team.
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This might be a bit of a reach, but If Arrieta can get a grip on his command and handle situations thrown at him as he did in his first outing, he might even be able to return close to his prime. Along with his 2015 form comes the likelihood of Arrieta putting up All-Star-caliber numbers. In a season filled with uncertainty, something like this is exactly what the Chicago Cubs need, and hopefully, this is what will be seen in the Friendly Confines.