Jake Arrieta had another impressive outing on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers as the Chicago Cubs ace threw a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts. In doing so, he became the first pitcher in the majors to 20 wins this season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau research, he became the fifth Cubs pitcher in the past 100 years to be the first to 20 wins in all of baseball and the first since Rick Sutcliffe in 1984. It is worth noting that Sutcliffe won his first four games with the Cleveland Indians that season.
Arrieta has now thrown at least eight innings and allowed no more than one earned run in each of his past five starts. According to Elias research, the only pitchers with streaks of five consecutive starts of that kind over the past 25 years are Roger Clemens (five straight for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997) and John Smoltz (five straight the the Atlanta Braves in 1992).
Since the All-Star break, Arrieta has allowed nine earned runs in 94⅓ innings for an ERA of 0.86. Per Elias, he is on the verge of becoming the first pitcher in MLB history with a sub-1.00 ERA after the All-Star break with at least 13 starts.
Boil it down to his past 10 starts, and Arrieta has an ERA of 0.48, the fourth-best stretch since earned runs became official stats in both leagues in 1913.
According to Elias, Arrieta is the first pitcher to throw a shutout for his 20th win of the season since Cliff Lee in 2008.
Tuesday marked the third time in his career that Arrieta threw a shutout that included at least 10 strikeouts.
Elias tells us that he is the fifth pitcher in the past 35 seasons to throw a shutout with at least 10 strikeouts for his 20th win of the season, joining Jack McDowell in 1993, Mark Gubicza in 1988, Roger Clemens in 1987 and Steve Carlton in 1982. McDowell, Clemens and Carlton won the Cy Young in each of their respective seasons.