The National League Cy Young Award race is a three-man race between Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs, Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Clayton Kershaw, also of the Dodgers. On Sunday, in prime time nonetheless, Arrieta made his case for the award by dominating the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jake retired the first 18 batters he faced and held the playoff bound Pirates to just one hit over seven innings of work while striking out nine and not walking anyone.
One thing the Pirates hope to take away from Sunday’s game is some knowledge of Arrieta’s approach, because they are likely to face him if the two teams meet in the N.L. wild card game. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette they hope there are takeaways for the future.
“It’s not like he’s going to change a whole lot. And it’s not like I think he’s going to attack us a whole lot differently two weeks from now if that would be the case involved where we would play. We’ll definitely be paying attention, and it will be a good opportunity and experience for everybody.”
2015 has been a breakout season for Arrieta as he has set career marks in wins, strikeouts, earned run average and innings pitched. His 21 wins lead all of baseball as do his four complete games, though three other pitchers share that second honor with him.
The key for Arrieta was getting away from the Baltimore Orioles and he got lucky when he was traded to the Cubs in July of 2013. Since that time his ERA has been over 3.00 runs lower and he has won 35 of his 66 starts.
One advantage that Jake may have in his bid to win his first Cy Young Award is that he pitches in a hitters park while his two major opponents for the award play half of their games in a very pitcher friendly ballpark. Also Greinke and Kershaw have both won the award before and sometimes voters like to give the prize to someone new when things are this close.
The Cy Young Award may just be decided in the final start of these three great pitchers. Arrieta will likely go on Friday against the Brewers in Milwaukee and then he would be right on schedule to pitch in the wild card game.
Who do you think should win the Cy Young Award,Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke?
[Image by David Banks/Getty Images]