2. Jake Arrieta is not invincible
The pitcher that everyone has been talking about since last season was on the mound for the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon. With an ERA of 1.72 and a record of 9-0, the praise comes with good reason. Though Arietta grabbed his ninth win in St. Louis, the Cardinals gave him his biggest test so far in 2016.
In the first and second innings of the contest, the Cardinals put up two runs on the board when Steven Piscotty drove in Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk homered. In the fourth inning, the Cardinals pushed Arrieta further, putting up two more runs. The Chicago righty’s night ended after he shut down the Cardinals in the fifth inning and his pitch count forced him out of the game.
For most pitchers, four runs wouldn’t be anything to get too worked about, but scoring four runs on Jake Arrieta is different. Those four runs prove that the Cardinals can hang with Jake Arrieta and that he isn’t an unstoppable force.
That is, as long as he doesn’t always receive the kind of run support that he has so far this season. Before facing the Cardinals on Wednesday, the Cubs’ lineup produced right around eight runs per games started by Arrieta. This game was right in line with that number, as the Cubs scored nine and continued that extremely high run production.
If we learned anything from this game, it is that if the Cardinals’ pitching can dim the Cubs’ offense while Arrieta is on the mound, he can be defeated. The Cardinals or their fans shouldn’t be scared when Arrieta takes the mound, just like they aren’t afraid when Clayton Kershaw steps on the rubber against the Cardinals. The Cardinals may have lost to Arrieta, but this provided that small glimmer of hope that may be really important in future match-ups with Cubs’ ace.
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