When deciding what a “big game” was I went with teams with winning records and rivalry games. The rivalry games added are against the lowly White Sox, but when the Crosstown Classic is played you can throw out the stats and records going into the game. While it is extremely important to pitch well against the bottom half of the league, pitchers earn their money pitching well in the big games. In 19 games this year against winning teams, and rivalry games Jake Arrieta is 14-3 with a 1.51 E.R.A. and 141 Strikeouts. Yes, you may have to re-read those stats to comprehend how good that is. That stretch also includes a No-Hitter against the Dodgers in L.A. on Sunday Night Baseball. His last start against the Pirates was also on the Sunday Night Baseball stage where he pitched 7 innings of shut out ball while adding a Home Run of his own.
Now Arrieta will look to shine in the newest challenge in front of him. The Cubs first playoff game since 2008, a winner takes all against the second best team in the MLB in their home stadium. On a team with talented young position player the stage is set for Chicago’s Ace to rest his case for National League Cy Young. While Pittsburgh has their Blackout, Chicago has their Superman in Blue with a Red “C” and Cubby Bear on his chest