This week’s spotlight is on a pair of aces sharing a city. Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs, and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox have certainly done their parts in getting their respective teams out to fast starts over the first two weeks of the season. Both Arrieta and Sale have dominated their first three starts of 2016. While it is early, are these aces laying the ground work for a potential Crosstown Fall Classic?
For Sale, this is becoming routine. Sale has been named an All-Star four years running while also finishing in the top-6 of the American League CY Young voting. He has yet to win the award, but what Sale has done is establish himself as one of the premier starting pitchers in the American League. Might 2016 finally be his year to bring home the hardware to validate his success?
Sale is off to a 3-0 start in 2016, which only adds to his dominating career splits. In starts in the months of March and April, Sale now has a career 14-4 record in addition to being 10-2 in May starts. When Sale is out on the mound, it is more than just the cold weather that makes it miserable conditions for hitters. Through his first three starts, Sale has logged the most innings pitched thus far while turning in a 23:3 strikeout to walk ratio.
In Arrieta’s case, it is becoming a challenge to put into context just how good the run he has been on is. Cubs fans have come to expect greatness from their ace, and Arrieta has certainly not disappointed. The reigning National League CY Young winner is seemingly setting records every time out.
In his last six regular season home starts, Arrieta has thrown 45.2 shutout innings pitched with a 48:5 strikeout to walk ratio. He is the first pitcher in the modern era to record six straight regular season home shutouts.
In addition to that, Arrieta has set a franchise-record for his 23rd consecutive quality start. His Wrigley Field scoreless inning streak within the regular season is now at 48.2 innings pitched and counting. What makes the streak impressive is that it began during the summer where the Wrigley Field winds can be very hitter friendly. Wrigley Field has been home to some great pitchers, but none have been able to do what Arrieta is currently doing out on the mound.
These two aces have Chicago buzzing. With the starts by Arrieta and Sale, it could be in the cards that the Cubs and White Sox will have very memorable summers on the horizon.