The Cubs racked up the hits again tonight, but the results weren’t quite as fun as last night. The Cubs came back a good bit of the way from a deep early deficit, and even got the tying run to second base in the 9th thanks to a wild Reds bullpen (and some would-be-strike-three calls that went their way). Unfortunately they didn’t quite make it all the way back.
The Cubs finish the opening month of the season – which was not necessarily an arduous part of the schedule – at 11-15, last in the NL Central.
Jake Arrieta has been great so far in his return to the Cubs, but tonight was just one of those regression stick outings that you had to figure would arrive at some point. The bullpen was fantastic after Arrieta lasted just 3.1 innings, but the damage was done.
I’ll have to look at the data a little more in the morning, but watching live, it seemed like something was a little off with Arrieta (and the velo was definitely down a couple clicks). It’s possible he was just kinda battling himself, which is going to happen sometimes, especially at this stage of his career. The Reds took advantage, and really knocked him around. If he’s healthy, Arrieta is going to give you a competitive outing more times than not. He won’t be dominant too often, if ever, anymore. But competitive. Mixed in, though, you’re going to have outings where he gets bombed out. Such is the transition to being a contact manager.
Shouts to Justin Steele, by the way, who just looks better each time he takes the mound. More on him soon, and heck, ditto Dillon Maples, who also threw two great innings.
Offensively, the Cubs didn’t have a bad night, with more raking from Kris Bryant, who homered and doubled, and just polished off about the best April you could have possibly hoped for.
Primarily, though, I have Willson Contreras’s injury on the mind …