The Cubs welcomed back an old friend with open arms yesterday.
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) June 6, 2018
— Nuccio DiNuzzo (@ChiTribNuccio) June 6, 2018
Jake Arrieta was a top-5 recognizable name and face for the Cubs lone world championship team over the last 110 years. For that we will always be grateful. Two months into an Arrieta-less Cubs season and his return to Wrigley in a non-Cub uniform have finally forced home the reality that he’s gone, so with that I’d like to take this opportunity to brighten your day with his best moments as a Cub.
#5- His Final Act
When Jake Arrieta took the ball in game 4 of the 2017 NLCS, the picture was already painted. The Cubs were down 3-0 to a 103 win team that had the best pitcher in baseball ready to throw game 5, and two more home games if neccessary after that. The Cubs entire pitching staff was on fumes, and the wear and tear of a title-defending season had caught up to the rest of the roster and the coaching staff as well.
Arrieta was a pending free agent who could have just rolled over to avoid risking further damage to his less than 100% hamstring. But he didn’t. He threw 6 2/3 innings of 1 run ball and kept the Cubs season alive. One last W.
#4- Homer Off MadBum
Madison Bumgarner’s postseason career has been the stuff of fairytales. Literally untouchable in October. So when the Cubs came to AT&T Park for game 3 of the 2016 NLDS up 2-0, there wasn’t a person watching that thought the Cubs would walk away with a sweep. Not because they doubted Arrieta on the mound, but because it was accepted as fact that scoring any runs against Bumgarner in the playoffs was undoable.
Enter Jake Arrieta.
Unfortunately, the bullpen blew the lead in the 8th and the Cubs would eventually lose the game in 13 innings, but that shouldn’t take away from how jaw-dropping that homer was.
#3- The No-Hitter (His First One)
Jake Arrieta is one of only three Cub pitchers in history to throw multiple no-hitters, and while both performances were pitching masterpieces, his first one is more memorable. His no-hit performance in LA back in 2015 was the signature moment of his historic Cy Young season.
#2- Game 2 Of The World Series
Arrieta racked up two wins for the Cubs in the World Series and while game 6 might have been a more difficult game, considering they were facing elimination, he was handed a 3-0 lead before he even threw a pitch, and that lead ballooned to 7 by the third inning.
Game 2 was a different story. Kyle Schwarber and Arrieta were *THE* headliners. Arrieta had struggled in his previous start, and the Cubs were in danger of falling into a 0-2 series hole. He responded by taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
#1- Wild Card Game Shutout
All of the October success the Cubs have endured the last three seasons started with that game. A winner-take-all road game against a 98 win division rival. There are really no words to describe how unfairly dominant Arrieta was that night.
And the best part? Arrieta called it.
— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) October 4, 2015
So, again Jake, thank you. Thank you for everything you gave us. Chicago will always love you.
Tonight Jake Arrieta will return to Wrigley Field for the first time since signing with the Phillies. Jake accomplished so much during his years with the Cubs. A Cy Young, World Series Champion, and an amazing teammate. Make sure you give him the ovation he deserves Cubs fans. pic.twitter.com/zBKFyNQzVu
— Drunk Rizzo™ (@DrunkRizz44) June 5, 2018