If you were wondering how it was that Jake Arrieta pitched so well for four innings and then the wheels of his command completely came off in the 5th inning, now you know.
Arrieta said after the game that he’s been dealing with a cut on his right thumb that he discovered about a week ago (Tribune, Sharma). He didn’t pitch between starts to give the cut a chance to heal, which he says it almost fully is. But the friction of pitching yesterday built up by the 5th inning, and Arrieta wasn’t able to execute his pitches – hence the loss of command.
Arrieta says he does not anticipate the cut impacting his next start.
Hopefully not, because coming into yesterday’s outing – and for the first four innings of it – Arrieta has been pitching very well. As we recently discussed, since addressing some mechanical issues in his delivery (and getting some better luck), Arrieta’s last four starts had been quite strong.
With Kyle Hendricks already on the disabled list (right middle finger tendinitis), and with Brett Anderson now on the 60-day disabled list, the Cubs have already slotted Mike Montgomery and Eddie Butler both into the rotation. Hendricks is expected back after Montgomery takes one more start, though, so hopefully there will be no further dipping into the depth necessary at this time.