When we last left our former Frogs, we had two that were headed to the postseason: Holaday, who recently joined the Red Sox, and Jake Arrieta with the Cubs. Holaday was shuffled around this season, playing catcher most of the time and then moonlighting as a pitcher when the Rangers needed him. Remember this?
Oof. That's a catcher pitching (Bryan Holaday) & an honest-to-goodness position player (Eduardo Nunez) falling down. pic.twitter.com/JfNdLHwHBj— Baseball Is Fun (@flippingbats) July 4, 2016
Unfortunately, he didn’t have a chance to play in the postseason, as the Red Sox lost three games in a row to the Cleveland Indians and were eliminated.
Bryan Holaday ended the season with a .231 AVG, 14 RBIs and 2 home runs. You can see his full stats here. We look forward to watching him play at Fenway next season.
And now we’re down to one Frog.
Jake Arrieta hasn’t had the same season he had last year. But the Cubs have still managed to make their expected postseason appearance in 2016. Arrieta played on October 10 against the Giants in San Francisco. This was Game 3 of the best-of-five series, and the Cubs were leading that series 2-0. In the bottom of the 2nd, Arrieta fired off a shot to left field for a 3-run home run that brought in Addison Russell and Javier Baez to make it 3-0.
Arrieta... Dude. pic.twitter.com/4CoZmIg8wh— Pat Doney (@PatDoneyNBC5) October 11, 2016
Prior to that hit, Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner had pitched 24 scoreless postseason innings. Arrieta snapped the streak, but the Giants came back to make it 5-3 going into the top of the 9th. Kris Bryant homered in the 9th to bring in Dexter Fowler to tie it 5-5.
Fast forward to the bottom of the 13th, and Mike Montgomery had come in to pitch for the Cubs. Joe Panik doubled to deep right, bringing home Brandon Crawford and getting the 6-5 win.
Arrieta totaled 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings pitched. He walked 1 and struck out 5. You can see the full box score here.
The Cubs went on to win the series 3-1, and now they face the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The Cubs were home for the first two games of the series, and the teams are tied 1-1 thus far. Tonight is Game 3, and Arrieta will take the mound in Los Angeles for the first time since August 30, 2015, when something pretty special happened:
And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
Tonight, Arrieta will face off against Rich Hill, a former Cubs pitcher himself. Predictions are mixed among fans and commentators, as the Cubs have struggled offensively during the postseason. Additionally, only four current Cubs on tonight’s roster have previously faced Hill on the mound (Coghlan, Fowler, Ross, and Zobrist).
NLCS Report: #Dodgers face Arrieta in twilight zone; Zobrist denies sign-stealing rap, #Cubs middle-order woes. https://t.co/NzkYNlia7q— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 18, 2016
Arrieta brings experience, #Cubs' confidence to Game 3. https://t.co/pBucPZ7B6X via @mlb— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 18, 2016
7 Chicago Cubs who need to step up in the NLCS. https://t.co/y6dUV77BMk— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 17, 2016
Chicago's Jake Arrieta faces LA's Rich Hill tonight in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. https://t.co/o9QN9dsNTh— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) October 18, 2016
Here are the infographics on Arrieta and Hill, for all you mathy-stat-loving people:
.@Dodgers send Rich Hill to the mound today to face Jake Arrieta and the Cubs in Game 3 of the #NLCS #postseason #mlb pic.twitter.com/bJ9Fexqif3— Baseball Infografica (@BBInfographica) October 18, 2016
.@Cubs send Jake Arrieta to the mound today to face Rich Hill and the Dodgers in Game 3 of the #NLCS #postseason #mlb pic.twitter.com/jJ9Fad26GV— Baseball Infografica (@BBInfographica) October 18, 2016
Watch Game 3 of the NLCS tonight at 8 pm EST on Fox Sports 1 to see if Arrieta and the Cubs will be one step closer to taking the NL Championship.