Jake Arrieta, Amazing Foul Balls, and a Zip Code Run Down

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Jake Arrieta, Amazing Foul Balls, and a Zip Code Run Down

Chicago Cubs

For the second time in as many starts against the Pirates, Jake Arrieta was charged with six earned runs in 6+ innings of work after departing a game in which he actually pitched fairly well (and a bunch of inherited runners scored after Arrieta had left).

We already know that the strike zone was not great, and that Arrieta definitely did miss some spots that got punished, but, on the whole, he didn’t look bad. It’s not comforting to hear it, I’m sure, but that’s really all I’ve got on his outing. There isn’t always something informative or profound to be divined from a single game.

… so instead we can just have some fun.

I don’t have the video for it, but, in the bottom of the sixth, down a run, Arrieta ripped a blast to left that reached Waveland Avenue, beyond the left field bleachers. Unfortunately, it was foul. But it was impressive:

And that wasn’t even the most impressive thing Arrieta did that involved him batting. It wasn’t his second inning single, either. It was this:

14. That’s how many pitches it took to retire Jake Arrieta in the fourth inning last night, single-handedly driving the opposing starter’s pitch count from the high 60s in the 4th inning (bad, but not terrible) to over 80.

That wound up being Steven Brault’s last inning, which means the Pirates bullpen wound up having to try to go nine innings, which means Jeff Locke was really extended at the end of the game, and then disintegrated in the 13th. Am I say it’s all because of that Arrieta at bat? Well, no, that would be a bit much. But I am raising my eyebrows suggestively.

And that STILL wasn’t the craziest play involving Jake Arrieta last night.

That crown goes to this absurd run-down after a comebacker with a man on third:

It looked like Marte was breaking hard to go back to third, so I don’t blame Arrieta for throwing to third right away instead of running at the runner, which you’d normally encourage in that situation. The oopsie drop on the attempted tag by Willson Contreras was not good, but heads up by Javy Baez and Arrieta to complete the play.

But it’s not the play, alone, that makes it the craziest Arrieta moment – heck, the craziest moment of all (yes, I’m going that far) – from that game. It’s this:


A rundown that had to involve the pitcher making the initial throw AND the out, had to involve three other players in that order, and it winds up being a zip code in the very city of the team against which the play was made!?!? Why are more people not erupting in shock like I am!?!?!?!?

Throw in everything else that happened in that game, and today shouldn’t bother. Don’t even try to be exciting, today’s game. You will fail.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.