Later this afternoon, Jake Arrieta will take the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates – a team he’s more or less owned over his career: 10-5, 3.02 ERA – after completing an absolutely dominant month of August.
How dominant was it?
Well, Arrieta’s month of August was so dominant he took home NL Pitcher of the Month honors:
A familiar feeling.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 3, 2017
Arrieta made six starts throughout the month and failed to finish six full innings just one time (and he came just one out short in that one anyway).
In those 37.1 innings pitched, Arrieta allowed a TOTAL of just 27 hits and 12 walks, while striking out 37 batters. His 1.21 ERA was the single best mark in baseball, while his 2.70 FIP ranked 6th overall and second in the National League. On top of all that, Arrieta continued to succeed in his hallmark fashion: allowing a meager .199 average against throughout the month.
New Cubs catcher Alex Avila had some kind words to say (Cubs.com): “Our staff in general has been pitching really well, but him especially. With the movement and the deception he has in his delivery, when he’s locating, he’s one of the toughest pitchers to square up as a hitter.”
This is the fourth such award Arrieta has won in his career (previously: August 2015, September 2015, April 2016) and first this season. And by the looks of it, he’s decided to heat up at precisely the right time (both for him (free agency looming) and the Cubs (October looming)).
Let’s see how September goes.