The probable American League Cy Young winner helped his visiting team take down the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday. A possible National League Cy Young winner - seemingly guaranteed to at least be the runnerup - is on the mound for the Cubs on Wednesday night, also the visiting team.
We've all heard the Jake Arrieta stats that have been accumulated over the last couple of months. They're legitimately absurd. His second half ERA was 0.75 - and that over 107.1 innings. That is probably the best-pitched stretch of baseball that has been seen in the 21st century. His season might well be the best of the 21st century. Just by himself, Arrieta had four complete games this year. The whole Orioles team did not muster even one complete game.
Pirates starter Gerrit Cole didn't exactly suck either this year, with a 2.60 ERA that would have probably had him high up in the Cy Young conversation in any ordinary year. One would expect a low-scoring game - as was the case when the Yankees and Astros faced off yesterday. Perhaps that will hold true again.
Who are you rooting for here? The Baltimore fans who remember 1979 just can't root for the Pirates, I understand. But that was before my time and I have no reason to hate that team. Some people can't stand seeing the ex-Orioles on the Cubs have any success, so maybe they can't root for that team either. I find the North Side Church of McFly to be an interesting narrative.
|CHICAGO CUBS||PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Gregory Polanco - RF|
|Kyle Schwarber - RF||Josh Harrison - 3B|
|Kris Bryant - LF||Andrew McCutchen - CF|
|Anthony Rizzo - 1B||Starling Marte - LF|
|Tommy La Stella - 3B||Francisco Cervelli - C|
|Starlin Castro - 2B||Neil Walker - 2B|
|Miguel Montero - C||Jordy Mercer - SS|
|Addison Russell - SS||Sean Rodriguez - 1B|
|Jake Arrieta - RHP||Gerrit Cole - RHP|