The back-to-back Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom bombs were certainly swell, but that was it for the bats tonight in what might’ve been the most winnable match-up of this four-game series.
Jake Arrieta started off wild and finished off wild, with some decent innings in between. Once he lost his control, though, it was all bets off. His balls were completely non-competitive, which put him behind repeatedly, and led to walks – or, in the case where he could get one back in the zone – a rocket shot by a guy who was just sitting on a certain pitch in a certain spot while ahead. The Cubs have intermittently gotten passable outings from Arrieta this year, but the throwaway games are just such a dagger. Tonight was one of those.
And Arrieta wasn’t the only Cubs pitcher with concerning control issues. Tommy Nance didn’t seem to have much idea where his pitches were going, walking two and giving up a single (on a third straight curveball because he couldn’t get either of his fastballs into the zone). His spin rates were down massively again tonight (third straight outing), so you could guess that he might be working through an adjustment period for which a loss of control could be a side effect, so to speak. Here’s hoping he does get through this phase, though, because even at a reduced spin rate, the velo and stuff still look like they’d play if he can locate. (It was also misting intermittently, so throw that in there, too.)
Dillon Maples was also rather wild (spin rates also down), but somehow he was one of two who DIDN’T issue a walk. So, hey. All right.