Jake Arrieta started tonight against the Giants, gave up four hits and two walks while recording just one out before was pulled from the game.

AND EVERYBODY PANICKED.

It was obvious from thing one that Arrieta had no command whatsoever, leaving pitches up in the zone when he wanted them down, leaving them way too down when he was trying to stay low. Something was off.

Hopefully, it’s just this:

Hopefully, the blister is an isolated thing – sometimes, pitchers deal with them repeatedly – and it heals, leaving Arrieta the same guy we’ve been expecting. Perhaps tonight was nothing but a flukey blister blip. And, hey, who wants Arrieta to show the Giants his best stuff in Spring Training anyway?



All that said, while panic is unwarranted, you never like to see a guy totally lose his command like that. If it was just a blister, and that blister heals, then it’s nothing at all to worry about (so long as future blisters can be avoided). If there was also a slight mechanical issue, however, hopefully that’s also something that can be worked out.

We’ll see if Arrieta takes his next scheduled Spring Training start, which would be his last before Opening Day on April 4. For now, try your best not to freak out, because this is one of those things that, while unnerving in the moment, is far more likely to be an unremembered blip a few months from now than the beginning of the end.

UPDATE: Buster Olney interviewed Arrieta on the broadcast from the dugout (which is already a good sign, because if this were about some larger physical issue, Arrieta wouldn’t be back out in the dugout). In short, Arrieta’s not worried about the blister being a long-term concern as long as it gives it time to heal. He’s dealt with it before. Otherwise, he says he feels good physically, and is repeating his delivery well. For now, that’s all we can ask for, and now we must do the agonizing waiting game for more data (i.e., whenever he pitches again and shows that his command and velocity are just fine).


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