An ‘A’ for Arrieta and a ‘W’ for the Cubs – Cubs 7, Cardinals 0

Game One Hundred Twenty-One – Cubs 7, Cardinals 0

WP – Jake Arrieta (1-0, 2-2) LP – Jake Westbrook (7-8) Save – None

wflag-pubThe Cubs ended their seven-game losing streak at Wrigley Field and picked up their first win at home since July 31 behind a dominant start from Jake Arrieta and a lot of patience at the plate.

The offense gave Jake Arrieta three early runs to play with and Arrieta shut down a very good Cardinals’ offense for seven innings. The Redbirds managed only two hits, both from Carlos Beltran, and five total baserunners during Arrieta’s time on the mound. Arrieta retired 12 batters in a row before walking two in the sixth. Arrieta got out of the jam in the sixth and finished up his outing by retiring five of the last six batters he faced. Arrieta struck out seven, five looking, and hit a batter on 94 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Jake Arrieta (0-for-2 with a sac bunt RBI) executed a perfect safety squeeze in the sixth that plated Darwin Barney with the Cubs’ sixth run at the time.

James Russell and Blake Parker pitched the last two innings and allowed just a two-out walk in the ninth. A game after managing only two hits, Cubs’ pitching held the Cardinals to two hits and picked up their fifth shutout of the season … and third shutout of the year against St. Louis.

The Cubs offense used three walks in the first inning to build an early lead. The Cubs made Jake Westbrook work and it paid off.

Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a sac fly and three RBI) delivered a two-run single and Donnie Murphy (2-for-2 with a RBI, a walk, a HBP and two runs scored) drove in Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored) with a two-out single that capped the scoring in the first inning. Schierholtz came through again in the fifth inning with a sac fly that plated Junior Lake (0-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) with the Cubs’ fourth run.

Darwin Barney (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored) doubled in a run in the sixth and scored on Arrieta’s safety squeeze. The Cubs final run scored on a wild pitch in the seventh.

The Cubs went back to working counts after just a miserable series against the Reds. The Cubs walked six times on Friday and four of those free passes scored on nine hits.

With Friday’s victory over the Cardinals, the Cubs improved to 53-68 on the season.

Jake Arrieta retired the Cardinals in order on 11 pitches, eight for strikes, to start his afternoon. The Cubs then made Jake Westbrook work. David DeJesus, Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo walked to start the Cubs’ first inning. Nate Schierholtz singled to center on a 1-0 pitch and plated both DeJesus and Lake … 2-0 Cubs. Welington Castillo rapped into a 5-4-3 double play. Rizzo advanced to third with two outs. Donnie Murphy pulled a 1-0 pitch into left. Rizzo scored, 3-0 Cubs. Castro grounded out to second to end the inning. Westbrook threw 30 pitches in the first inning, 15 for strikes.

After one complete, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead.

Jake Arrieta plunked Allen Craig to start the second inning. Carlos Beltran hit a ball back up the middle that Arrieta could not handle. Beltran ended up a first with an infield single and the Cardinals had runners on first and second with no outs. Kolten Wong stepped to the plate for the first time in a big league game … and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Craig advanced to third but was stranded when Johnson grounded out to Castro to end the inning.

Jake Arrieta settled in after the second inning and sailed through the third, four and fifth innings. Arrieta struck out four of six batters in the third and fourth inning and was throwing free and easy.

The Cubs added to their lead in the fifth after David DeJesus led off the inning with a single to left. Junior Lake grounded into a 5-4 force out and took over at first. Anthony Rizzo singled, Lake advanced to third and scored on a sac fly to left off the bat of Nate Schierholtz … 4-0 Cubs. Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.

The Cubs had a 4-0 lead after five innings.

Jake Arrieta retired Descalso on a flyout to center for the first out in the sixth. Arrieta had retired 12 in a row at that point. Arrieta walked Jake Westbrook and Matt Carpenter. After a visit from Chris Bosio, Jon Jay hit a grounder toward first. Rizzo fielded the ball and threw to Castro covering second. The Cubs appeared to catch a break because Castro was in the neighborhood of the second base bag. With runners on the corners and two down, Arrieta caught Matt Holliday looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Arrieta threw 88 pitches, 51 for strikes, over six shutout innings.

The Cubs tacked onto their lead in the sixth after Westbrook hit Donnie Murphy to start the inning. After Castro flied out to left center, Darwin Barney pulled a 3-2 pitch over Holliday’s head in left. David Bell waived in Murphy and he scored. Barney advanced to third on the throw. Jake Arrieta dropped down a 0-1 pitch toward third. Barney scampered home on the safety squeeze and the Cubs took a 6-0 lead. DeJesus grounded out to first to end the inning.

The Cubs scored their final run in the seventh after Anthony Rizzo worked a one out walk. Nate Schierholtz flied out to right. But Welington Castillo pulled a 3-1 pitch into left field. Rizzo held at second and Mike Matheny went to his pen. Matheny replaced Westbrook with lefty Sam Freeman … and two wild pitches later, Rizzo scored. A 2-0 pitch to Donnie Murphy got past Johnson which allowed both Rizzo and Castillo to move up ninety feet. Freeman then uncorked his second wild pitch on a 3-2 offering to Murphy that not only put Murphy at first, but allowed Rizzo to score the Cubs’ seventh run. With runners on the corners, Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.

James Russell pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Blake Parker retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.

Travis Wood faces Joe Kelly on Saturday afternoon.

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