Social Navigation

Jake Arrieta is Having One of the Best Cubs Seasons in the Last 30 Years

Analysis and Commentary
ADVERTISEMENT

jake arrieta mustache pajamasBetween the raw stuff, hitters’ reactions and inability to generate hard-hit balls, one could surmise that Jake Arrieta put himself in an elite category of pitchers with his performance in Sunday’s no-hitter.

And while the no-hitter is just the tip of the iceberg, it is safe to say it as Arrieta is literally putting together one of the great pitching seasons in the modern era of Cubs baseball.

Arrieta’s 5.4 fWAR is the best for a Cubs pitcher since Mark Prior’s 2004 (7.8) and the fourth best by any Cubs pitcher in the last 30 years. The other three pitchers? Greg Maddux’s 1992 (7.0), 1991 (5.8) and 1990 (5.1) seasons.


ADVERTISEMENT

Here are your 5-WAR pitchers for the Cubs since 1985:

PITCHER RECORD INNINGS ERA FIP WAR
Mark Prior 18-6 211.1 2.43 2.47 7.8
Greg Maddux 20-11 268.0 2.18 2.58 7.0
Greg Maddux 15-11 263.0 3.35 3.06 5.8
Jake Arrieta 17-6 183.0 2.11 2.51 5.4
Greg Maddux 15-15 237.0 3.46 3.15 5.1

Arrieta is having one of the best seasons this generation of Cubs fans has ever seen and can still stand to be better as the rest of the season could yield five or six more starts.

All while the Cubs are pushing toward a postseason spot makes this even more impressive.

The no-hitter was the cherry on top as he had the ideal balance of composure, command and stuff come together in a perfect storm in what was one of the best pitched games in recent memory.

The 98 game score is tied with no-hitters by Chris Heston and Cole Hamels and Corey Kluber’s eight-inning one-hitter for the second best in baseball this year. Only Max Scherzer’s near-perfect no-hitter (100 game score) rates higher. You can take a peek at those games here.


ADVERTISEMENT

And as it stands, it is one of the greatest pitching performances by a Cubs pitcher in the modern era. It is the second best game score for a Cubs pitcher in the last 50 years. Only Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game, which garnered a 105, ranks higher.

Here is a look at every game score of 90 or better for the Cubs over the last 50 years, via baseball-reference.com:

Rk Player Date Opp IP H ER SO BB GSc
1 Kerry Wood 1998-05-06 HOU 9 1 0 20 0 105
2 Jake Arrieta 2015-08-30 LAD 9 0 0 12 1 98
3 Jake Arrieta 2014-09-16 CIN 9 1 0 13 1 97
4 Kerry Wood 2001-05-25 MIL 9 1 0 14 2 97
5 Carlos Zambrano 2008-09-14 HOU 9 0 0 10 1 96
6 Frank Castillo 1995-09-25 STL 9 1 0 13 2 96
7 Ken Holtzman 1971-06-08 PIT 12 9 0 12 0 96
8 Greg Maddux 1988-05-11 SDP 10 3 0 8 0 94
9 Fergie Jenkins 1973-07-22 SFG 12 4 1 6 2 94
10 Dick Ellsworth 1966-05-14 CIN 13 7 0 3 1 93
11 Rich Hill 2006-09-16 CIN 9 2 0 10 1 92
12 Mark Prior 2004-09-30 CIN 9 3 1 16 1 92
13 Dennis Eckersley 1985-04-16 PHI 10 5 0 11 1 92
14 Milt Pappas 1972-09-02 SDP 9 0 0 6 1 92
15 Juan Pizarro 1971-08-05 SDP 9 1 0 9 2 92
16 Bill Faul 1965-08-03 PHI 9 2 0 9 0 92
17 Mark Prior 2003-04-09 MON 9 4 0 12 0 91
18 Rick Sutcliffe 1984-09-08 NYM 9 4 0 12 0 91
19 Rick Reuschel 1976-05-12 SFG 10 3 0 6 1 91
20 Fergie Jenkins 1971-05-10 PHI 9 4 0 12 0 91
21 Carlos Zambrano 2009-09-25 SFG 9 2 0 8 1 90
22 Jose Guzman 1993-04-06 ATL 9 1 0 7 2 90
23 Rick Sutcliffe 1984-06-24 STL 9 5 0 14 1 90
24 Dickie Noles 1982-04-28 CIN 9 1 0 7 2 90
25 Rick Reuschel 1973-08-03 MON 9 4 0 11 0 90
26 Dick Selma 1969-05-23 SDP 9 2 0 9 2 90

Arrieta is the author of the second and third best game scores for a Cubs pitcher since 1965. So, maybe it is of no coincidence that Arrieta’s 10.4 fWAR since the start of the 2014 season is tied for the fifth best in baseball with Max Scherzer.

So, what does he do for an encore?

I guess we’ll have to tune in today and find out.


SHARE:

Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.

ADVERTISEMENT