CHICAGO – As a free agent and his team down 3-0 in the National League Championship Series, many fans made sure to take an extra glimpse at one of their aces.
Last Wednesday, there were many things that stood out about Jake Arrieta – his unique pitching style, his strikeout ability, and his overall prowess in shutting down the Dodgers to give the Cubs another day to play.
But one characteristic of the Cubs pitcher that’s been present since he joined the team is his trademark facial hair. “Fear The Beard” is a phrase used to describe Arrieta since his breakthrough Cy Young winning season of 2015.
Now that he approaches free agency, and the real chance he won’t be back in Chicago in 2018, there is no beard to fear with Jake for at least the moment.
— Brittany Arrieta (@MrsArrieta49) October 22, 2017
On Sunday his wife Brittany posted a picture of Arrieta after shaving off his trademark beard. As you could imagine, the photo of Jake made the rounds on Social Media just a few days after the season came to an end.
This is not something out of the ordinary for the pitcher.
Goodbye Chicago, you've been amazing…..Austin here we come for you!!! pic.twitter.com/Cn3czW6IAv
— Kristina Lackey (@klackey33) November 6, 2016
After the Cubs won the World Series title in 2016, Arrieta also shaved off his beard shortly after the team’s victory parade in downtown Chicago.
Not long after the 2015 season, he did the same.
set free crumbs/drink droplets/possible creatures…Nice to see his face again even if it's just for a little bit 💏 pic.twitter.com/TSf1urU0lY
— Brittany Arrieta (@MrsArrieta49) October 30, 2015
Arrieta enters free agency this season and will likely be one of the most sought after starting pitchers in the major leagues. Because of a high price tag and the Cubs’ possible reluctance to meet that demand, many believe that Wednesday’s NLCS start will be his final as a member of the team.
This past season, Arrieta was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA but was outstanding in a pair of playoff starts. In 10 2/3 innings, he allowed just one earned run and struck out 13 batters.