Arrieta’s Solid Day, a Reasonable Bullpen Move, and Other Bullets

jake arrieta vintageAnnually, the most difficult part of the Blogathon is keeping up with the “regular” BN posts while also doing all the crazy rumoring, transaction covering, whacky stunting, etc.

So, I’m gonna try and breeze through these Bullets as quickly as I can …

  • Among the bright spots from yesterday’s game – ok, perhaps THE bright spot? – was Jake Arrieta’s performance. It was yet another excellent outing (don’t look at the numbers; a couple of the walks easily could have been Ks, there was another groundout that should have been a K the pitch before; and the two runs scored after he left the game). The fastball command was very good, and the breaking pitches looked sharp. It was Jake Arrieta being Jake Arrieta, and that’s now three of the last four outings where he’s looked like that. This is good news.[adinserter block=”1″]
  • I was pretty openly and vocally chapped about the walk to Mike Zunino in the 8th inning yesterday, which kicked off the inning in which the Brewers (edit: got them on the brain) Mariners took the lead with two outs. I felt like Jake Arrieta threw more than three strikes, especially with the zone that had been called all day. As always, I checked with Brooks the next day, and … I was kinda right, kinda wrong. Not unlike the calls at the plate, two of those pitches that were called balls were so close. One probably should have been called a strike (which would have been enough for the K), and the other was probably a ball. But as you can see, they’re soooo close that it’s hard to scream angrily either way. The zone was not as large as I thought it was, so I was wrong on that account, even though you can see the two “balls” from that at bat are well within the zone that is typically called by umpires. The bigness of the moment is probably what irked me more than the calls themselves.
  • Speaking of the moment, I really didn’t have a problem with Joe Maddon bringing in Aroldis Chapman there for another four-out save. For one thing, Chapman’s really good, and if he can do it, why not? For another thing, the fact that Leonys Martin managed to smack one into the gap in that at bat doesn’t make the decision a bad one. I’d probably like to see Hector Rondon given a full inning there – maybe even from the start of the inning, though I can understand why Arrieta went back out there (he was cruising!) – but not enough for me to be upset with the move to Chapman. It just didn’t work out. Shrug.
  • For the record: lefties are hitting .125/.235/.161 off of Chapman for his career, with a 48.6% strikeout rate. That was only the 9th – NINTH! – extra-base hit he’s given up to a lefty in 358 lefties faced.
  • Anyone ever try out the Google cardboard virtual reality thing? I don’t know much about it, except this one is cheap on Amazon.
  • Chapman throws hard:
  • [adinserter block=”2″]

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    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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