Jake Arrieta Destroys Dodgers
Heading into his start against the Dodgers, Arrieta had won five consecutive starts for a Cubs team that is fighting to hold onto a Wild Card spot in the National League, which earns each Wild Card team a one game playoff berth for the right to go to the Division Series. A road game against the National League West leading Dodgers was a good test for Arrieta, who will have to beat teams of Los Angeles’ caliber come playoff time if the Cubs want to legitimately compete. He beat the Dodgers as convincingly as humanly possible.
Arrieta threw 116 pitches in that game, allowing no hits, striking out 12 Dodgers batters, and walking only 1, meaning that Arrieta was just one batter away from securing a perfect game on the road in a vital game for his team. To say the least, that’s an encouraging sign for a young team looking to prove that they can compete with established baseball powerhouses.
Arrieta’s Importance To Chicago
As mentioned previously, should the Cubs make the playoffs it will be as a Wild Card team thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals, who have blown the rest of the league away and will win the National League Central instead of the Cubs. This means that a one game playoff awaits the Cubs, and will pit them against another quality team for the right to get into the postseason proper. That one game playoff will be pitched by Arrieta, who will need to be great for his team to advance. With the way he has pitched lately, there’s no reason to believe he can’t do that in a Wild Card game, and baseball tipsters should back him should they reach that stage.
Furthermore, the performance of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner illustrated the importance of a top notch number one starter last year, when he dominated the Kansas City Royals in multiple starts to bring the Giants the World Series in 2014. Arrieta will be placed in that role for the Cubs this season and, with every quality start he puts together in the regular season, the more confident he will be when that opportunity presents itself in the playoffs.
Against pitching staffs such as the ones boasted by the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs need an ace starting pitcher to keep up and compete at this high level. Thanks to the work of Jake Arrieta, they’ve got that piece and now anything is possible for them.
By: Jason M. Sanin]]>