Nobody expected Jake Arrieta to replicate his past success in his second go-round with the Chicago Cubs. During his time in Philadelphia, it became clear the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t the same guy he was back then. Still, due to a need of pitching, financial limitations and perhaps a bit of service to fans, the front office brought him back ahead of the season.
To call it an unmitigated disaster is fair. Through April 25, Arrieta looked like he tapped into something upon his return, working to a 2.57 ERA. But from that point on, he was the worst starting pitcher not only on the Cubs roster, but in all of baseball.
Opponents batted .355/.421/.645 against the right-hander over the next three-plus months, racking up 91 hits and 67 runs over a span of just 58 1/3 innings of work. The final straw? Wednesday’s clunker against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field, in which Arrieta allowed seven first-run innings en route to a 10-0 loss.
Given the Cubs unloaded anything of value at the trade deadline and have shifted focus to 2022 and beyond, it was hard to envision Arrieta playing a substantive role moving forward. He was giving you nothing of value on the mound and, at least before Wednesday, I thought he might be that bulldog veteran mentor for a young staff learning the ropes of big league life. Then, he made a passing comment in his postgame press conference that was just a bad look, all around.