Jake Arrieta had his good stuff working tonight, and outside of a tight spot in his final inning, he was not challenged all game. Unfortunately for him and the Cubs, Scott Kazmir was more or less his equal on the other side of the bump, and the Cubs’ bats couldn’t get anything going.
After 107 pitches, including a tough 7th inning that saw him load the bases on walks, it’s hard to argue with Arrieta coming out of the game. And, given the composition of the bullpen – and the four innings Travis Wood threw yesterday – I can’t argue with Clayton Richard getting the next inning, given the consecutive lefties to start the frame. That’s why Richard is here. But after three consecutive hits to start the inning untied the game, we were reminded that Richard has really struggled to actually get lefties out this season.
That’ll get some discussion tomorrow, but Richard wasn’t the only Cubs reliever who struggled in this one. Kris Bryant playing shortstop – yes, that happened – wasn’t enough to distract from the ugly late-game performance of the bullpen or the lack of offense by the Cubs.
Outside of Jake Arrieta, it was just one of those nights where nothing went well for the Cubs.