This is the age of exaggeration, a time when "Everything is Awesome" if you choose to believe it is, a time when facts can easily be conflated with myths in the immediacy of our social media consumption, a time when NBC has a TV program called "Best Show Ever."

So just know that this next thought is not delivered to poke or provoke but rather, hopefully, to engage and enlighten:

If you examine the numbers and consider the narrative, Jake Arrieta, who gets the ball for Game 3 of the Cubs' National League Division Series against the Cardinals on Monday night (TBS, 6 p.m. ET), is in the midst of as great a prolonged period of superior pitching as this game has seen.

Ever.

Now, before we get to the (hopefully) convincing calculations, let's just offer a not-so-subtle reminder of a not-so-secret fact: The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908 and haven't even been to it since 1945. Nine out of 10 historians agree that's a pretty long time, and that, of course, colors any conversation about these Cubs and the men trying to guide them to baseball's Promised Land. Pitch a team into and through a postseason, and you're a hero. Pitch the Chicago Cubs into and through a postseason, and you've crossed the line into legend terrain.

Arrieta, clearly, has a ways to go on that front.

But he has already posted the lowest second-half ERA in history and followed it up by becoming the first pitcher ever to throw a postseason shutout with double-digit strikeouts and zero walks.