After struggling mightily through the last couple weeks of the 1st half of the season, the Cubs came out swinging against one of the top teams in baseball, the Texas Rangers. They took the first two games of the series behind wins from Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA) and Jason Hammel (8-5, 3.34 ERA) before dropping the finale on Sunday.The Cubs now open up a series on Monday against the New York Mets. This is a big series, and one which I’m sure we would all like to see end positively for the Cubs, given the 2015 NLCS. They will have to face Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38), Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56), and Bartolo Colon (8-4, 3.11) in the three game set. The Cubs will send Lester, Arrieta, and Hendricks to the mound in the series. It will be interesting to see how the all-star break will have effected Arrieta, since he was having some serious struggles at the end of the first half. If he can get back on track and pitch like he did in the 2nd half last season, we, as Cubs fans, will be in for a real treat.
In his final 12 starts of the regular season last year, Jake Arrieta posted a 0.41 ERA, the lowest in MLB history for that stretch, and allowed only one home run. This is what gave him the Cy Young Award. If he can get back to this form, the rest of Major League Baseball should be scared of what they will have to face come playoff time, especially when you factor in the explosive offense that this team carries. I am excited to see what this second half can bring!