Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pic of the Week

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta takes a pull from a bottle of
Champagne during a team photo after his no-hitter Sunday
in Los Angeles. The team wore pajamas for their
overnight flight back to Chicago,
Jake Arietta didn't do much with the Baltimore Orioles, the team that drafted him in the fifth round in 2007 and brought him to the big leagues in 2010. He went 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA for the O's, who shipped him to the Cubs in a four-player deal in July 2013.

He sure blossomed with the Cubs, though. A 3.66 ERA in nine starts in 2013, then 2.53 last year and 2.03 so far this season, including a no-hitter on last week's Sunday Night Baseball and eight innings of four-hit shutout ball on Saturday. His strikeout rate is a bit higher with the Cubs than with the Orioles, but his walk rate is far lower.

The difference, as explained in this piece, is that he has de-emphasized his "unremarkable" four-seam fastball in favor of his slider and other pitches. Whether that was something encouraged by Chris Bosio, the Cubs pitching coach, or something he decided on his own, it has sure worked. He's now one of the best pitchers in the game.

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