How the Chicago Cubs went from pretenders to contenders

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Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Arrieta has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball… 

The run that Arrieta has been on is just incredible. Words cannot express how great he’s been. He may very well be the Cy Young Award winner this season. That still does not come close to describe how great his 2015 season was.

Arrieta’s rise also began after that Hamels no-hitter. He was on the losing end of that game.

Since that game, Arrieta has not lost.

In the thirteen games he pitched in since the Hamels game. the Cubs were 13-0. He was 11-0 with a 0.57 ERA (!). He had a 0.67 WHIP, and he struck out 95 while walking just 17 in 94-and- 1/3 innings. Oh, and he got a no-hitter himself as well.

In about the two months since his last loss, Arrieta gave up just six runs. SIX!

Arrieta took the Cubs on his shoulders and helped get the Cubs into the playoffs, and turned them into serious contenders. He had the best second half of a season in MLB history.

After such an incredible season, and throwing a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card play-in, it was his teammates’ turn to help him out in the NLDS.

Arrieta did not pitch badly, but he was not his dominant self. He went 5-and-2/3 innings, and allowed an incredible four runs. The Cubs offense came through with six home runs to back him up and he got another victory.

With Arrieta taking the mound, the Cubs should be a favorite to win any game or any series.

Next: Some Other Pitchers Brought Some Relief