Jake grew up in Plano, Texas and played college baseball for Weatherford College and TCU. He was originally drafted in the 31st round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, but opted to stay in school and attend TCU.
The 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner, Jake has gone 40-14 with a 2.39 ERA, a pair of no-hitters and a .189 opposing batting average over the last two seasons (2015-16). His 1.77 ERA in ’15 was the lowest for a Cubs qualifying starting pitcher in 96 years (since 1919, when Pete Alexander had a 1.72 ERA). Jake tossed his second career no-hitter on April 21, 2016 at Cincinnati. He became just the fourth reigning Cy Young Award winner to throw a no-hitter, joining elite company that includes Sandy Koufax (1964), Bob Gibson (1971) and Clayton Kershaw (2014). Jake was named the NL Pitcher of the Month in three-consecutive months beginning in August 2015 and is the first NL pitcher to accomplish the feat and third major leaguer overall, joining Pedro Martinez (April-June, 1999) and Johan Santana (July-September, 2004). Through 2016, he has posted a 2.20 ERA in 49 career starts at Wrigley Field, the ﬁfth-lowest ERA in the ballpark’s history. His .177 opponents average at Wrigley Field leads all pitchers.
Jake was a standout player for Team USA. During the 2006 World Baseball Championship in Cuba, he went 4-0, allowing only one run in 35 innings pitched while striking out 34 hitters.