Jake Arrieta is still Jake Arrieta – and the rotation is fine.
As always, following a phenomenal breakout season, there were questions coming into the 2016 season about who Jake Arrieta would be when he stepped back onto the rubber. His spring was mediocre, and his last couple of outings in the postseason were not stellar.
Those questions have been answered now, as big Jake has nailed down two more quality starts in a row, shutting out the Los Angeles Angels and taking the Arizona Diamondbacks deep. His quality start streak is now at 22, the longest since Bob Gibson had 26 between September 12, 1967 and July 30, 1968. Arrieta has started right where he left off and with the added offensive clout of the 2016 lineup, several Cubs pitchers could put up some great numbers in the win column.
Behind Jake, Jon Lester is 1-1, John Lackey has a win (heavily aided by the aforementioned offense), and both Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks have deep, quality starts that ended with a W. The rotation is better than it was last year, and likely only to grow stronger as Lackey fits himself into the team and the new situation.
So the first thing we’ve learned from opening week is that Jake Arrieta and the Cubs’ starting rotation are fine.