Courtesy CBS Sports

I don’t know what type of Cub fan you are.  I am the type who watches probably 95% of the games available to me, maybe more.  I digest box scores looking for trends, and I follow the other teams in our division to see how the rest of the field shapes up.  My phone gives me updates and scores and standings.  My wife says it’s obsessive, but she also gives me updates and scores and standings, and she was not a baseball fan a few years ago.  So there’s that.  If you are the more casual type of fan, like my wife, then you likely only get the big events when they get reported on the local news or on SportsCenter.  If you are that fan, then surely you have a vague remembrance of the news on the morning of August 31, 2015…

Jake Arrieta, in the midst of a phenomenal run of games for the 2015 Cubs, pitched a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  It was the first no-hitter by the Cubs organization in 7 years (Zambrano, 9/14/2008) and the first Cub no-hitter I had seen from the first pitch to the last.  You see, August 30th is my birthday, and one of my presents was an undisturbed three hours to watch the Cubs.  And what a three hours it was!  In short, it was the best birthday present I ever got from the Chicago Cubs… and the images of Arrieta giving interviews in his jammies after the greatest pitching performance of his career (to that point) was priceless.

Arrieta struck out 12, issued only one walk and survived an early error to put his name in the record books.  He had a Game Score of 98, if that means anything to you.  The win put the Cubs 19 games over .500 on their way to a 97-65 finish.  This team of up-and-comers had stayed in the division race to this point, and then went 23-10 after this statement game to claim the second NL Wild Card berth.  And what happened next?  Jake Arrieta throttled the Pirates 5-0 in the Wild Card Game and then we beat some team from St. Louis in the first round.  Fun fact: I hear it’s in the Midwest, somewhere.

But August 30th, 2015, changed the narrative.  The news from the following day announced that the Cubs were coming, and that they were going to be around for a long time.  Since that game, the Cubs have won three Divisional Playoff Series, two NL Central titles, gone to 3 straight NLCS, and won the World Series.  And to think that it may have all started on that birthday game in Los Angeles…

Happy Birthday to me, indeed.

Featured image courtesy of @emsheshan

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