Jake Arrieta was downright filthy on Saturday for the Chicago Cubs. His late movement on nearly all of his pitches gave Colorado Rockies hitters fits all afternoon, especially his 89-91 mph slider. The right-handed ace went eight innings with eight strikeouts, giving up no runs on only five hits and one walk. He was the best player on the field.
He was painting corners and doing so with movement. The Rockies are not the only team who would have stood little chance againstArrietta today. He was the best player on the field.
On the opposite side, Christian Bergman did exactly what a pitcher is asked to do in a spot-start. He started out well giving up only two hits and no runs through his first three innings. His only blemish occurred in the fourth inning when he gave up back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler. Bergman went five innings, surrendering four hits and two runs while striking out seven.
David Hale stepped in for Bergman in the sixth inning, He had no problems in the sixth, but proceeded to struggle in the seventh and gave up a three-run home run to former Colorado Rockie, Dexter Fowler.
Ryan Raburn had a beat on a fly ball into left field that was entering foul territory until he met the Wrigley Field bullpens. The pitcher’s mound in foul territory caused him to trip and fall, preventing him from grabbing the fly ball and giving Fowler the opportunity to deliver the big three-run blast.
Jason Gurka replaced David Hale and gave up another run in the eighth inning giving the Cubs a 6-0 lead.
Thankfully, Joe Maddon elected to end Arrieta’s night after the eighth inning, and Carlos Gonzalez promtly ended the shutout, hitting a two-run home run to deep left field, his fourth home run of the season.
Pedro Strop then stepped on the mound to hold down the fort, and the Cubs won, 6-2.
Bergman giving up the back-to-back home runs was pretty much it with how good Arrietta was. Soler’s homer, in particular, was a towering blast that was an absolute no-doubter.
By the Numbers
In his second at-bat, Carlos Gonzalez singled off Arrieta which extended his hitting streak to 21 games dating back to last season.
Gerardo Parra extended his own hitting streak to five games with a bunt single in the seventh inning. Parra also stole his third base of this season. He stole only 14 bases all of last season.
The Rockies actually played surprisingly well in a game that looked to be an almost certain loss on paper. A few key moments going the other way and the Rockies could have stolen this one, but Arrietta was just too good and Walt Weiss actually did a good job of not balking, getting length out of Bergman, Hale, and Gurka, and setting his team up with a chance to win the series tomorrow.
With the series tied at 1-1, he Rockies will square off against the Cubs in the series finale tomorrow (Sunday) at 12:20 MST. It’s a promising pitching matchup featuring Tyler Chatwood and Jon Lester.