WASHINGTON -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria refuses to think about what could have been with right-hander Jake Arrieta, who has gone 5-1 and compiled a 1.81 ERA in 11 starts since missing the first month of the season with right shoulder tightness.
Chicago started the season 13-27 through its first 40 games, but has played five games above .500 in the 43 games since that point. A large reason for the recent success has been Arrieta, who sports a 1.60 ERA in just over 50 innings during that solid stretch. Not to mention, he's flirted with history in each of his past two starts, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Reds on June 24 and a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Red Sox on Monday.
Still, Renteria said he couldn't focus on what Arrieta's impact may have been during the team's rough start. He has to look forward.
"Of course, if he's pitching the way he's pitching right now in the beginning of the season, would it have been a nice thing to have? Absolutely," Renteria said. "But I don't live in the past. The past is the past. I can't worry about what we didn't have. All I know is that, right now, the guys we have are doing a nice job. Now, it's just continuing to try and chip away."
Even after missing a good portion of the first half of the season, Renteria believes Arrieta is in the conversation for making the National League All-Star team, which will be announced on Sunday along with the American League squad.
"It's up to the powers that be, so to speak, to see if they view him in that vein," Renteria said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.