In his last start of the regular season Friday night, the Cubs ace delivered six innings of two-hit, shutout baseball and seven strikeouts against the Milwaukee Brewers. Another dominating performance brought his second-half ERA to a minuscule 0.75, the lowest in baseball history, according to statistician Ryan M. Spaeder.
Arrieta also tallied off another quality start, as the Cubs pointed out on Twitter:
Spaeder delved deeper into the 29-year-old's second half, noting that he gave up just four earned runs during the months of August and September combined, saving his best stuff for the final push of the season. In his final 12 starts, Arrieta had a 0.40 ERA.
His play in August was ridiculous, as ESPN Stats & Info showed:
Arrieta is in line for a league-best 22nd win of the season to go with just six losses and an overall ERA of 1.77, which is somehow second in the National League behind that of Los Angeles Dodgers ace Zack Greinke (1.68).
Arrieta has anchored a pitching staff that has helped deliver the Cubs their first postseason berth since 2008, and he will most likely get the ball in their one-game wild-card playoff against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Regardless of how the Cubs finish the season, it's safe to assume Arrieta is going to be among the final names up for the National League Cy Young Award after his history-making second half.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.