Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta is awesome and he hasn’t lost in a really long time. “We have potential to win it in either spot”.
“It also matters to play in front of your home fan base”, Maddon said.
“Where we’re at right now, absolutely he’s gotta be in (the MVP) conversation, too”, Maddon told Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs manager says he likes his club’s chances against the Pittsburgh Pirates whether the game’s played on the North Shore in Pittsburgh or on the corner of Clark and Addison Streets in Chicago.
If Arrieta were to pull an upset and beat out Harper for the NL MVP Award, he would become the first Cubs player to win it since Sammy Sosa took home the honors in 1998. “To have the venue of Sunday Night Baseball twice, he gave up one hit in 16 innings against two really good teams, what does that mean?”
Arrieta, who threw a no-hitter on August 30 at the Dodgers, has eight strikeouts. He threatened to at least match that Sunday, throwing six flawless innings before Gregory Polanco led off the seventh with a single.
This season’s series between the clubs backs up Maddon’s notion with the Cubs owning a 5-4 record at Wrigley Field and a 6-4 mark at PNC Park.
Arrieta’s situation is interesting because he is not only among the top pitchers in the National League, but he’s also among the best players period.
With 20 wins this season, Arrieta is a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award. “A few big tasks at hand”, Arrieta said. “I just think that the end of the season will bring about the emotions that go along with those sort of moments”.
“Winning extra-inning games on the road is very hard”, Maddon said.
“He could be”, said Maddon. “Like I said before the game, I don’t want to stand in the way of anybody’s greatness”.