(CBS) While Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta has been spectacular all season long, he officially arrived in the national spotlight Sunday evening when he fired a no-hitter against the Dodgers. Naturally, that led to the discussion of where Arrieta belongs in the National League Cy Young conversation.
Arrieta has an MLB-leading 17 wins to go along with a 2.11 ERA that's second-best in the NL. His 183 innings are third-most in the NL, and his 0.94 WHIP is fourth-best. The other frontrunners are Zack Greinke (15-3, 1.59 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) and Clayton Kershaw (11-6, 2.24 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) of the Dodgers.
So what's Arrieta think of his Cy Young chances?
"Who doesn't want to be the Cy Young (winner)?" Arrieta said in an interview with Jason Goff and Joe Cowley on 670 The Score. "That's what I've set out to do my entire career, to be the best. Regardless of what I'm doing -- if I'm playing ping-pong with one of our clubhouse kids, Danny, I'm trying to beat him every single game or whoever it is.
"I've been that way forever ... I'd love to win the Cy Young. I'd love to be the best in the league, not only this year, but every year."
Arrieta's worries most about the success of the Cubs, who are 6.5 games ahead of the Giants for the second NL wild-card spot. The journey to this point has been a fun one, with the Cubs slowly gaining confidence along the way and a realization of what they can accomplish.
"It's easy to say you're good and think you're good in spring training when all the optimism is at an all-time high and everybody's feeling good about their chances, their season and the players they have," Arrieta said. "But obviously injuries happen, things happen throughout the year that you have to overcome. Those are things we've been able to do. As the young players have started to have success on a regular basis, they've started to understand the rigors of a long season and alter their routine accordingly. Once those wins started to pile up, that's when most of the guys began to realize, 'Hey, we've got a shot to do some pretty special things this season. We known what we're up against with the Pirates and Cardinals in our division, those teams both ahead of us. But if we go out there and continue to take care of business, handle the remainder of our schedule, if we end up in that wild-card (game), we still have a good shot to do some special things in October."
Arrieta has become the Cubs' ace this season, and he's under club control through 2017. He made clear he wants to remain in Chicago long-term, regardless of when the sides start negotiating.
"Obviously, everybody wants to get paid," he said. "Everybody wants to to be an ace. everybody wants to play at an extremely high level. And most importantly, we all want to win. Regardless of where the front office decides to go with moves in the offseason, we're confident they're going to do the right thing for the Chicago Cubs. I know they're going to continue to put us in a winning atmosphere and give us a chance to do some really special things. And knowing that we've got some really good competition within our division, we know that season in and season out they we're going to have our work cut out for us.
"It's too far for me into the future to really say. Obviously, I'd love to remain a Chicago Cub, and I'd love to win here for a lot of years to come."
Listen to Arrieta's full interview below.
Jake Arrieta with Jason Goff and Joe Cowley
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