Now with Phillies, can Pirates nemesis Jake Arrieta regain dominance against them?
Hey look, it's Jake Arrieta.
This feels like if Vontaze Burfict got traded from the Bengals to the Ravens.
Yes, the Pirates square off against their former boogeyman Thursday night in Philadelphia. This after the former Cub inked a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies this offseason.
Arrieta has moved on from the Windy City to the City of Brotherly Love. But love is hardly a word that comes up when Arrieta's name is referenced in Pittsburgh after what he did to the Pirates at PNC Park in the 2015 Wild Card game.
That was a four-hit, 11-strikeout shutout for Arrieta to eliminate the Pirates from what we all assumed (maybe until the hot start this season) would be their last-ever playoff appearance.
Of course, this happened along the way that night too after Arrieta hit two players.
That caused Sean Rodriguez to do this.
But that's OK. Because Neal Huntington eventually replaced that Gatorade cooler with a younger cheaper Powerade cooler under more years of control and cost certainty.
That Wild Card loss was the just the culmination of a year of dominance over the Bucs by Arrieta. He threw 36 innings vs. the Pirates and allowed just three runs, striking out 33 along the way.
That year, Arrieta went 3-1 against the Pirates in five starts. He walked only five.
That started to change in 2016. The Pirates beat Arrieta twice, scoring 21 runs in 38 innings for an ERA of 4.93.
In 2017, Clint Hurdle's bunch further exorcised their demons, defeating Arrieta three times, scoring 13 times in 24⅓ innings.
We'll see what Arrieta has in store for the Pirates tonight. He's been pretty good so far in Philly, winning one of his first two starts and posting a solid 3.38 ERA.
Jameson Taillon counters for the Pirates. You can read about why he is off to such a great start in our Breakfast With Benz daily column .