From 2010 to 2013 Jake Arrieta pitched in 358 innings for the Baltimore Orioles. To say he unperformed would be a understatement as he hada hideous 5.64 ERA and walked more than four batters per nine innings.
On July 2, 2013, the O’s traded Arrieta to the Cubs along with hard-throwing reliever Pedro Strop and a handful of cash. In exchange they received right-hander Scott Feldman and bench-warming catcher Steve Clevenger.
The Chicago Cubs got the better end of the deal.
This year has been an almost magical season for Arrieta. He finished the regular season with a 22-6 record in 33 starts and a 1.77 ERA.
He then dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a wild card game that witnessed Arrieta at his best with a four-hit, no-walk, 11-strikeout master class performance. It was the first Chicago Cubs postseason win since October 11, 2003.
With the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals now tied at one game a piece in the NLDS, we decided to take a look back at Jake Arrieta’s dominating season with 21 pictures that perfectly sum up his breakout year.
This is a guy who managed a post-All-Star break ERA of 0.75. That impressive stat then dropped to 0.41 since August and then to 0.39 in September and October.
By the way, that 0.75 ERA in the second-half of the season is the lowest second-half ERA in the history of Major League Baseball.
Did we mention that the Chicago Cubs pitcher pulled off a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 30, 2015.
In 2015, he has relied primarily on his massive sinker (95 mph) and incredibly accurate slider (91 mph). He also mixes it up with a frustrating curve (81 mph) and a four-seam fastball (95 mph). When he does throw a changeup it lands at 90 mph.
Arrieta absolutely dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates with a shutout. Arrieta guaranteed his teammates and fans a victory and he delivered with one of his best performances of the season. He embarrassed the Pirates on their home turf at PNC Park.
His teammates have his back. After Arrieta was hit by a pitch thrown by Pirates pitcher Tony Watson, the Cubs cleared their bench faster than any bench clearing incident we've ever seen. Arrieta would go on to finish the game and issue a season ending shutout to the Pirates.
He is visibly disgusted with some of his own decisions and at other times he celebrates with the best of them. Thankfully for Cubs fans he quickly regains his composure and gets the job done. Here he is celebrating with Dexter Fowler after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the National League Wild Card game.
He has even been known to hit a home run and take it in stride. There's no big celebrations for Arrieta until he gets the job done.
He's a student of the game and in good and bad outings he can be seen regularly discussing strategy with Chris Bosio.
In his four starts before the NLDS, Arrieta threw 31 innings, allowed 10 hits, walked one batter and struck out 38. If he was active in your fantasy league during that stretch -- congratulations.
Dousing Arrieta with ice water has become fairly routine in the last few months. Between no-hitters and wild card shutouts, he is the man to watch in the bigs.
Chicago Cubs fans turned up in hordes to watch Arrieta dismantle the Pirates. After the game he took some time to interact with his supporters.
His family has travelled all over the country to support him. You can spot them at home and away games.
And he's not afraid to show his appreciation to his wife in the form of a little bit of PDA.
He works hard in the gym and before outings to maintain his game. His pre-game stretching is almost zen-like at times.
Arrieta rotates between workouts to make sure both his legs and arms get the attention they deserve. Just one look at the dude and you can see that he's ripped more than most of his fellow pitchers. Here he is stretching before a game at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs star pitcher has managed to maintain his sense of humour during a historic season. Here he is wearing a 'we are good' Cubs t-shirt right before his September 19 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Arrieta, center, is a team player and gets in on the fun. Here he is drinking champagne as he poses in pajamas with teammates following a game. The players are wearing pajamas for an overnight flight to Chicago after finishing a six-game West Coast trip.
He's not afraid to dig in and do what it takes to score a run. Here's Arrieta scoring on a sacrifice fly.
You don't pull off a .786 win-loss percentage in 33 games without pulling your weight wherever you can. Here is Arrieta putting down a sacrifice bunt.
You can't possibly overstate the importance of Jake Arrieta for the Chicago Cubs this year. Just take a look at the faces of these Cubbies fans when he was hit by a pitch. I guarantee you that this entire room held its collective breath until they were sure Chicago's ace pitcher was ok.
If there is one thing Arrieta has become accustomed to this year, it's being drenched with celebration coolers and champagne. In this photo he's doused by manager Joe Maddon the win against the Pirates.
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