Jake Arrieta's troublesome nipple: Why does he touch himself there?

He's not cheating, Cubs ace Jake Arrieta says. He's just tucking his right nipple back inside of his tank top after delivering a pitch.

After the Cubs and Arrieta shut down the Pirates 4-0 in the NL wild-card game Wednesday night, Pittsburgh fans were left asking "Why?," and "Why them?" again. For two straight seasons, they've been shut out in the playoffs for one game and sent home.. A year ago, it was Madison Bumgarner. This time, after the Bucs won 98 games during the regular season, it was Arrieta, who pitched a four-hitter and struck out 11. The Cubs, winning in the postseason. Can you imagine? They must be cheating -- Arrieta must be cheating, a fan charged on Twitter. He's always fumbling with his jersey, going to his cap, touching his belt buckle. What's he doing there? Why is he touching himself like that? What kind of edge does it give him? It's a desperate cry, but one that people make.

Not guilty, Arrieta replied.


It does? He does? It appears he does:

Like many (perhaps most, or even all) other pitchers, Arrieta makes minor adjustments to his uniform whenever he throws a pitch. The movements tend to go unnoticed by most observers, but there are little things that he does every time he delivers. After throwing, Arrieta will tug the bill of his cap, yank his jersey away from his chest and touch the buckle on his belt. This pitch against Gregory Polanco is just one instance from the Pirates game, but Arrieta does makes the same adjustments almost every time in the same way, like it's an obsessive-compulsive deal.

But Arrieta says there's more to it than that. He's talking practicality, with an obtrusive nipple poking through and becoming irritated. So, what does his underwear look like? Is he truthing about his tank top?

Well, there it is. Jake Arrieta's right nipple, just like he said. That doesn't account for the bill of his cap, or the belt buckle. It's possible Arrieta could be hiding something both places. But it will be up to the Cardinals to find it, if they want to look there.

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