Where is the bottom of this dang hole?
It has to come sometime – it really does, this team simply isn’t this bad – but that doesn’t mean it’s coming today, or even any time soon. The Cubs will just keep cranking away with the talent they have, giving certain guys rest when it’s needed, and hoping the rest sorts itself out.
Speaking of cranking away, today’s starter Jake Arrieta will continue to do just that.
Earlier today, we discussed how two newer advanced metrics indicated better things are coming for Jake Arrieta, and I’m guessing many of you rolled your eyes. But here’s the thing: it’s a heck of a lot better for a bunch of advanced metrics to say Arrieta should be getting better results than for them to say the opposite.
I think we can all agree on that.
With that said … last season, even when Arrieta was far from the best version of himself, just 11 of his 31 starts featured a game score under 50. Through ten starts this season, he’s already had 6 (which puts him on pace for 18-19 sub-50 starts). And yet somehow his strikeout and walk rates are way better than they were in 2016.
And here’s the other, other kicker when a guy has a good strikeout rate and walk rate: his strand rate tends to be better. But, of course, Arrieta’s strand rate this season is actually 11.3 percentage points lower than it was last season. The fact that hitters are hitting .273 off him isn’t helping, but still, that’s ridiculous. Hopefully some of the things out of his control start to regress. Because, yeesh.
Luis Perdomo is starting for the Padres today, but for once I’m not going to dig into his stats right now. The strength of the opposing starter – at least, lately – has not been the Cubs’ problem.
The Cubs’ problems, instead, are all on their side of the field. They need to start turning things around, regardless of who they are facing … whether or not he’s allowed a .378 wOBA against lefties for his career and will face five of them today.
Chicago Cubs (25-26) at San Diego Padres (21-33) – 2:40 CT on WGN, MLBN, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 4.92 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 3.58 xFIP; 4.27 K/BB
Padres: Luis Perdomo (R): 5.61 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.24 xFIP; 3.23 K/BB
San Diego Padres Lineup:
- Franchy Cordero, CF
- Yangervis Solarte, 2B
- Wil Myers, 1B
- Hunter Renfroe, RF
- Ryan Schimpf, 3B
- Cory Spangenberg, LF
- Erick Aybar, SS
- Luis Torrens, C
- Luis Perdomo, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jake Arrieta, P