SAN FRANCISCO — Jake Arrieta is demanding the Philadelphia Phillies shift their strategy. Do it right now, too.
The Phillies ace criticized his team’s defensive shifting following a 6-1 loss Sunday that completed a three-game sweep for the San Francisco Giants.
Arrieta homered for Philadelphia’s only run of the series and pitched well until a stretch in the sixth inning when he allowed five straight hits, capped by Andrew McCutchen’s three-run homer. Three of those hits came on ground balls, including one weak grounder to rookie shortstop Scott Kingery and another single hit through the right side by Joe Panik against a shifted infield.
Arrieta’s frustration boiled over after the game. The 32-year-old righty unloaded on an organization that gave him a $75 million, three-year contract, taking aim at the Phillies for not keeping up with a booming baseball trend.
“We’re the worst in the league with shifts, so we need to change that,” Arrieta said.
Arrieta didn’t offer specific recommendations.
“Use your eyes, make an adjustment and be better. We need some accountability all the way around. Everybody, top to bottom,” Arrieta said.
“We need to have an accountability check,” he said. “This is a key moment in our season. We had a pretty good April, a pretty good May. June isn’t starting out so well.”
Asked if he thought the team had the wherewithal to do that, Arrieta said, “if there’s not, I’ll make sure there is.”
The Phillies are 2-5 so far on a 10-game road trip. They have scored only one run in 29 innings.
Arrieta (5-3) allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner had given up just three earned runs over his last 35 innings when the Giants broke through in the sixth to score five times.