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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  • Josh Man

    I loved watching Jake pitch at my alma mater (TCU-Go Frogs), and I’m loving him with the Cubs so far! Huge move getting him for Feldman in my opinion. It was also cool seeing him face Matt Carpenter, also from TCU.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Great pitching performance for Jake A.
    Two fine starts!

    • J Daniel

      Is this really Rip?

  • Tony_Hall

    Soriano tied a record with 18 RBI’s over a 4 game span. Tied with Bottomley, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Dimaggio and Sosa.

    No one has ever questioned how great Soriano is on a hot streak, but this was one of his best ones ever.

    • triple

      Are you sure you can be happy that Soriano has been tearing it up? After all, you know that Theo would not approve ;)

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I imagine Theo’s very happy for him. I believe most Cubs fans and people in the office are.

      • Tony_Hall

        I think I will sleep pretty good tonight. I don’t wish anything bad on any player (well maybe some of the Cardinals), but I can not want a player on the Cubs and still like the player. Just like I can put any player on my fantasy team, even if they are on the Reds, Brewers and even the Cardinals. I almost never take a White Sox player. There are a bunch of great players, that I don’t want on the Cubs. Usually because they are on the wrong side of 30. Soon enough we will have a reason to add those player, but I hope it is because we believe it will help us in our playoff run.

        Hilarious that someone just down arrowed you.

      • John_CC

        Just a completely lame comment.

    • Tony_Hall

      Does anyone think that AL pitchers are going to stop throwing fastballs to Soriano? How can any scout not know that he is a superstar if you throw him fastballs?

      ESPN Stats/Info:In last 4 games. Soriano's swung at 17 fastballs,only missed 2. He's hit 4 of his 5 HRs and driven in 14 runs off fastballs.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 17, 2013

      • cubtex

        Haha. You are incapable of complimenting him. I was waiting for a follow up response from you. You are right…..What are pitchers thinking? The fastball is such a rare pitch. Why would any pitcher throw that rare of a pitch to any batter like Soriano or any of the top hitters in the league? What are scouts thinking? They should consult you on what they should throw him.

        • Tony_Hall

          It must be hard always having to prove that Theo makes bad decisions all the time AND root for the team he is building. Even Neil had to comment that it is rather surprising the amount of fastballs he is seeing….and you know why……because it is hard to comprehend pitchers giving in too him and throwing a hitable fastball that many AB’s in a 4 day period.

          • cubtex

            Have you or Neil watched and looked at pitch sequences? I have and he is jumping on pitches that he is capable of hitting. How many pitchers have the command to throw off speed pitches all the time to get ahead and put a batter away? The HR he hit yesterday…He took a change for ball 1, Took a curve low and in and then hit a low fastball out for the HR. To think that pitchers are only throwing him fastball after fastball is not true.

          • Tony_Hall

            Glad to see you spending that much time on a former Cub.

            Throwing him any fastballs in his zone his hard to understand, even in a 3-0 count. He will expand the zone and doesn’t take many 4 pitch walks.

          • cubtex

            I am a baseball fan of all good players. You should try it. It is a great game and there are a lot of good players out there.

          • Tony_Hall

            You always act like others don’t like good baseball or good players. I play fantasy baseball and believe I am in touch with most of the good players in baseball. Unfortunately, Soriano doesn’t register in fantasy baseball (which is all about offense) as being one of the better 12-15 LF’s or even enough to fill another 12-15 spots that teams use for U (DH) or even to sit on a bench. Most leagues he is a free agent available to anyone to grab, yet he sits there.

            And you are right, there are a lot of good players out there and even though you don’t believe it, they do play for the Cubs. You can actually root for your favorite team and the players that are here and the players that are in the organization.

          • cubtex

            Really? The team is on pace to lose 93 plus games again. They have how many good players currently? I think Castro could be a good player. Many of the prospects in the minors could be one day. Do I consider players like DeJesus, Schierholtz,Barney,Murphy,Rizzo,Castillo to be good players? Rizzo could be one day but he is not now. Castillo has shown improvement but I am not convinced that he is a core piece and to pencil him in for the next 5 years at catcher. I am a huge fan of the Cubs. I am disgusted at the product tthis FO is putting on the field. The rebuild will work. No doubt. It is a 5 year rebuild with losing on the major league level that small market teams have followed the same blueprint for year.

          • Tony_Hall

            If you know it is such a long road, why do you continue to spend so much time beating up the process, when you know what is happening?

            Here is what next year looks like right now.
            C – Castillo
            1B – Rizzo
            2B – Watkins/Barney
            SS – Castro
            3B – Valbuena, Murhpy, Ransom until Olt or Bryant take it from them, hopefully sooner than later.

            OF – DeJesus, Lake, Schierholtz

            Rotation
            Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Rusin, Arrieta with 6-9 already in house.

            The only place I can see them bringing in someone is OF, but it would be on a 1 year deal and SP, also on a 1 year deal. I don’t see them going after any of the big name FA’s who will want 4+ year contracts, not that there is all that much we would want anyway.

            And what I see is a team full of young players and stopgaps. Yes, it would have been more fun to watch if they would have loaded up a veteran team when they took over and spent more of the money in their budget on the big league team, but then we wouldn’t have the farm system we have today, Top 5 and would probably be middle of the pack. We wouldn’t have won anything in these years (but won around 80 games each year) and would be farther away from contending, but would have appeased the short sighted fans who want 80 win teams to feel like they are close to competing, even though they would be a middle ground team, stuck in the middle.

          • cubtex

            Those poor Dodger and Red Sox fans. Someone should have told them that it couldn’t be done this quickly.

            I know what the team will look like(more than likely) next year. It will be another brutal offensive team. It will be another 90 loss team. 3 years in a row of 90 plus losses. Doesn’t have to be but it is what it is. Some fans like to watch losing baseball year in and year out. Some fans don’t even want to the team to try and win. There are never any surprise playoff teams of WS winners. Just pencil in playoff teams at the beginning of the year and don’t even play the season.

          • Tony_Hall

            So since you believe in surprise teams and that the playoff teams are not penciled in at the beginning of the year, and that you have to play the season, why do you write off the season for the Cubs as another 90 loss season? Shouldn’t we play the year out, or even the off season before doing that? The FO makes lots of moves and you never know with a young team when young players will click and when they will be ready for call up and instantly be more productive than who they replaced. You can try to not be so negative about your favorite team.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Tony, I am right there with you. The amount of fastballs he is seeing right now is rather surprising. Glad he’s doing well, just surprised that teams are helping him succeed.

    • cubtex

      He is actually going back to his bat he used with the Yankees when he was a young player. The “heavier” bat. He call it “Wonder Chico Stick” He carved it out of a tree that was hit by lightning at Babe Ruth’s hometown. :)

      Actually it is nice that he has some professional hitters in front of him in the lineup and behind. He wasn’t getting the pitches that he is now with Rizzo and Schierholtz hitting in front of him and behind.

      • Tony_Hall

        I doubt that at all. And yet you have argued against “protection” in a lineup having any affect on hitters in the past.

      • John_CC

        What Tony said. Make up your mind man! Does lineup protection exist or not. LOL.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of Chris Volstad, er, Scott Feldman:

    2-3
    5.18 ERA
    1.296 WHIP
    3 HBP
    12 BB
    31 K
    41 IP
    42 H

    He reverted back to Scott Feldman….

    • Tony_Hall

      It doesn’t change our return, which looks good so far.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Absolutely. That trade was an absolute fleecing…

        • Brp921

          Theo is quietly putting together a potentially very good pitching staff.

          • That One Guy

            Yeah, Hoyer sure is.

          • John_CC

            It’s getting there. And without Baker or Viscaino back. Next year the rotation will be competitive again, but I’m looking forward to a consistent bullpen.

  • Tony_Hall

    And the guy we got for Soriano,

    Corey Black 5 IP 1R 8 K’s 1 BB

    Corey Black tossed 5 innings of one run ball w/ 8 Ks & 1 BB for Daytona. Nice numbers, has a shot to be a late-inning power reliever in bigs— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 17, 2013

  • Ripsnorter1

    Matt Garza….Texas Rangers:
    2-1 ….3.86 ERA

  • Ripsnorter1

    To whomever it was that said Mike Olt wouldn’t hit .130 forever…..

    YOU’RE RIGHT.

    Here’s his Iowa stat line….

    .127 BA
    .179 OBP
    .232 slug
    79 AB
    10 H
    2 HR
    4 RBI

    Not going to start at 3B in Wrigley in April 2014, imo.

    • Tony_Hall

      Not likely hitting like that. I would think he will play in the AZ Fall league or winter ball, to try and make up for the, basically, lost season.

      Of course the speculation the last few days has been will Bryant win the job in ST.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Interested to see how he does next year. I imagine with the concussion issues finally behind him he will have a monster year, and be up around June. Those head injuries are bad deals. Imagine being in the box seeing blurry. That’s been his world for the past year…

        • Brp921

          I hope your right but there is also a possibility that he will never recover completely.

      • GaryLeeT

        I still contend that Olt was a throw in to the C.J. Edwards deal.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Edwards was the centerpiece, but if Olt can recover his form he’s a super prospect.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Soriano with another tater tonight….that’s 5 in 3 games.

    He looks 10 years younger just by being traded away from the Cubs.
    Hard to deny that….

    • John_CC

      No doubt about it. A veteran like that going to a veteran team is good for him … and that the veteran team happens to be in the Bronx, no matter how much they’ve underacheived, winning is expected. Good for him.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider
    • Tony_Hall

      I don’t think many have doubted his potential, it is whether he can go from potential to actually pitching well, consistently.

      We know he is getting to start the rest of the year, but I have to believe he is penciled into the starting 5 next year.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Hopefully he can keep it up. We finally have a bonafied POTENTIAL ace. Not that he will be but he can be. With he and Vizcaino at the front of the rotation we would look really good, next year. If Arrieta can keep it up and Vizcaino can start. But both are very real possibilities…

      • triple

        I certainly would think he’s pencilled into the starting rotation, but I certainly hope that the FO takes the same approach this off-season and has 7 or 8 guys lined up for the rotation once again.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        Keep drinking that Blue Kool-Aid

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Don’t get that one. Did you not see him today? He’s got some serious stuff and seems to have figured something out.

          If he can be consistent he can be an ace. His stuff is of that caliber. He was an opening day starter.

          • mutantbeast

            Funny, but a number of players on the LA Dodgers seem to find Arrietas stuff well above average. Its all about control with Arrieta, always has been. The stuff is there to be a big timer.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree with Boardrider, don’t get this comment, not that I get most of your comments, but this one is out of place, especially considering you are one of the biggest kool-aid drinkers there is on the Cubs.

    • GaryLeeT

      If you listened to Arrieta’s post game interview, it really highlighted the difference between him, and a pitcher like Samardzija. Arrieta took full responsibility for his past, and his inability to put hitters away, while the Cub’s supposed ace, blamed contract talks as the reason for his under performance. When it comes to pitchers who have the mental toughness to be consistent winners, give me a staff a of Arrietas.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Cubs 2014 Pitchers…..Theo is going to need to fill a few holes over the winter……Garza & Feldman will be replaced by Rusin & Arrieta……..at least we have pitchers who can start with the team on Opening Day….no Marmol in the bullpen….so add six wins to next years total from this year’s total……………couple of guys who can make the jump will be ….no, Not Coleman and Castillo….but Rosscup & Hendricks………..too many set backs for Baker…..can’t count on him any longer…….Samardzija is the best piece to get two starting pitchers for one.

    Wood – In
    Arrieta – In
    Samardzija – In, for now
    Jackson – In
    Villanueva – In
    Rusin – In
    Baker – Out – Career Over
    Vizcaino – In – Mid Season return
    Cabrera – In

    Parker – In
    Strop – In
    Russell – In
    Grimm – In

    Rondon – Out – Minors
    Gregg – Out

    Fujikawa – Out
    Chapman – Out – Minors

    Dolis – Out – Minors

    Putman – Out – Minors
    Sanchez – Out -Minors
    Rodriquez – Our – Minors

    Gurrier – Out
    Bowden – Out

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I don’t believe Baker’s career is over. Question is if he will resign. If so he’ll be in our rotation

  • CubbyDenCritic

    This would be a very good time to sell those extra Alfonso Soriano Rookie Cards on Ebay………

    MLB Baseball Experts had a choice to pick which three teams would get back to the Playoffs first…..Astros, Cubs or Marlins…..they all picked the Marlins.

    I wonder if Theo will put Barney on Waivers to see if he can make a deal with the Braves!

  • CubbyDenCritic

    We need to stop this “Ace” talk about Arrieta…..first, I think many of you don’t understand the word “Ace” in baseball terms………this same talk was used on Samardzija…….please see his numbers …………Arrieta pitched a nice game….beat a playoff bound club…….but please, leave the “Ace” talk off on Arrieta…..lets wait a few years from now……I just think it is an injustice to those who are true blood “Ace” pitchers in the majors and those who were passed “Ace” pitchers.

    • GaryLeeT

      I think most people are implying that Arrieta has ace like pitches, which he does.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Potential ace is all anyone has said. And he is that…

    • John_CC

      I agree with Cubbywhateverguy!!

    • mutantbeast

      No one is calling Arrieta an “ace”. His stuff gives him the p[otential to be one. Its that simple. This kid throws strikes, he dominates.

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