I don’t know exactly why Jake Arrieta popped into my head late last night while The Wife and I were watching ‘Love is Blind’ (that show is serious cringe, but you can’t stop). Must’ve been some guy’s beard or something. Anyway, in Arrieta popped, and I thought about when he first returned to Wrigley Field after joining the Phillies, and how we gave him the best standing ovation we could.
He got love during introductions before the game, and then again when he came to the plate the first time.
He probably deserved even more:
Jake Arrieta deserved every bit of this. pic.twitter.com/GGUY1HiQnH
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 8, 2020
Just an incredible energy in a cold park that night, and I was really happy to be there in the bleachers giving that ovation. It was a series I’d targeted to attend in the offseason precisely because I wanted to be there for that special moment.
The night wasn’t entirely lovely, though, because the Cubs wound up losing late. That, alone, probably isn’t enough to jog your memory, but I bet if I say “check swing” you might start to form a picture in your mind.
I titled my write-up of the game the next day, “A Nearly Perfect Dong Punch,” in reference to just how absurdly frustrating the loss was. The Cubs got a good outing from Yu Darvish – at Wrigley Field, against Jake Arrieta – came back in the 7th inning to take the lead on an absurd and flukey Daniel Descalso triple, which turned into a little league home run:
It was nuts, especially given how flukey that play was, and how poorly Descalso had been playing. It just felt so good. The Cubs were primed to win the game in the bottom of the 9th.
That’s when, with two outs and two strikes, and a one run lead, this happened:
Although the definition of a "swing" is flabby – essentially when a batter offers at a pitch, going too far in the process – we know a swing when we see it. Everyone watching knew this was a swing except the guys who make the decision. A Cubs win becomes a Cubs loss. pic.twitter.com/4I53b8eyHg
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 21, 2019
McCutchen went on to walk, later scored on a bloop, tying the game. The Phillies won it in 10.