CHICAGO (CBS) – If Cubs ace Jake Arrieta is feeling any pressure about Wednesday’’s winner-takes-all wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, it wasn’t apparent Monday as he and his teammates departed Wrigley Field.

Diehard Cubs fans gathered outside the ballpark to try for autographs and photos and to cheer as players, coaches and executives boarded buses to O’Hare.

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Arrieta, who arrived at the ballpark riding a bicycle (no helmet, according to one observer), was in no hurry to walk past fans, CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports. He signed a large “W” flag offered by lifetime Cubs fan Rick Calk, who called the pitcher the “nicest” athlete.

“A lot of the other guys walked by, and Arrieta actually hung out for a really long time and signed basically everybody’s stuff,” Calk said.

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The Cubs’ buses were escorted out of Wrigleyville by Illinois State Police. It’s about a 90-minute flight to Pittsburgh, where the NL wild-card game will be played Wednesday evening.

The Cubs are placing their postseason faith in Arrieta, a 22-6 starter who had a remarkable season. He’ll oppose Pirates ace Gerrit Cole.

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