SAN FRANCISCO – The Cubs would have been in bad shape if it wasn’t for the job Jake Arrieta did in April. But since the first month of the season, things have not gone well for the veteran right-hander.
Coming off his last start, in which he didn’t make it through four innings, Arrieta had an even tougher time Friday night in an 8-5 loss to the Giants.
“I haven’t been great the last couple times out,” Arrieta said. “We’ll get past that. Totally expect to be a lot better and get back on track.”
The Giants jumped all over Arrieta in the second with four consecutive hits to start the inning, including a double and a three-run homer by Steven Duggar for a 3-2 lead.
The problems continued for Arrieta. After a single and a walk, he surrendered another three-run homer, this one to Alex Dickerson, to make it 6-2.
“I think he’s just fighting himself a little bit mechanically,” manager David Ross said. “From the side view, just flat. Two-seamers in [with] a lot of run middle of the plate. The cutter looked like it was backing up on him today. Couldn’t quite get it in there against lefties. They did some real damage on that pitch.”
There was plenty of loud contact against Arrieta, with six hits in the inning registering an exit velocity of over 100 mph. The Giants sent 10 batters to the plate, and Arrieta didn’t return in the third.
Arrieta said part of the reason for his performance was that he got sick before the game and dealt with the effects throughout.
“Before the game, I was pretty sick, and apparently what I had for lunch today made me pretty sick,” Arrieta said. “Threw up before the game and then a few times after I came out of the game. I was really weak. Tried to go out there and do what I could, wasn’t able to, unfortunately. Put us in a big hole.
“I thought I was capable of going out there and doing a little bit more. I didn’t really have my legs underneath me. Just not a great day.”
The Cubs are going to have to figure out what to do with Arrieta, who has an 8.28 ERA over his last six starts.
The Cubs’ offense did some damage. Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson hit two-run homers in the first and fourth innings, respectively. It was Pederson’s second homer of the series.
There were more fireworks in the Cubs’ dugout when Ross had to direct Anthony Rizzo to the clubhouse after he and Willson Contreras exchanged words. TV cameras caught a frustrated Contreras slam his chest protector to the floor and Rizzo come over to say something. Rizzo later diffused the situation.
“It’s just one of those incidents where the beauty of playing with our group for so long is that we can have these talks and [move on],” he said.
Said Ross: “Sometimes you’re not going to see eye to eye. That’s pretty normal in this environment in the big leagues. We’ve got a close-knit group, and those things happen.”