An A-Plus for Arrieta – Cubs 2, Phillies 1

Game Sixty-Five: Cubs 2, Phillies 1

WP – Jake Arrieta (2-1) LP – Roberto Hernandez (2-5) Save – Neil Ramirez (2)

wflag-pub2014Jake Arrieta pitched seven innings of shutout ball and Starlin Castro hit a two-run homer with Anthony Rizzo along for the ride as the Cubs began the three-game series in Philadelphia with a win on Friday night. And Neil Ramirez froze Carlos Ruiz with the tying run on third to close out the win.

Jake Arrieta was outstanding Friday night and without question put together his best outing in a Cubs’ uniform. Arrieta had excellent command of all of his pitches and took a no hitter in the fifth inning. Domonic Brown broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out double that hit the chalk down the left field line. Arrieta faced two over the minimum through six innings and did not allow his second hit until the seventh inning, an infield single off the bat of Marlon Byrd.

Jake Arrieta gave up two hits, walked one batter and struck out nine. Arrieta threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes, in a season-high seven innings of work.

Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless eighth and Neil Ramirez closed out the game for his second save of the season. Ramirez filled in for Hector Rondon, who was unavailable due to a sore elbow.

Cubs’ pitching struck out 11 batters Friday night and held the Phillies to one run on five hits with two walks.

Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a HBP) gave Jake Arrieta and the pen all the runs they would need. Castro hit his ninth longball of the season in the fourth with Anthony Rizzo (1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks) at first base after he was walked to start the inning.

The offense managed only four hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Chris Coghlan (1-for-4) and Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3) collected the Cubs other two singles.

Jimmy Rollins led off the ninth inning with a double off the wall in right. The two-base hit tied Mike Schmidt for the most hits (2,234) in Phillies history.

Roberto Hernandez hit Starlin Castro with the first pitch of Castro’s at bat in the sixth inning. Castro hit a two-run homer off Hernandez in his previous at bat. And the homeplate umpire, Mark Ripperger, thought Hernandez was throwing at Castro. Ripperger ejected Hernandez from the game and Ryne Sandberg was also thrown out after he went to argue the call. Based on Hernandez’s reaction after he plunked Castro, he was not throwing at Castro.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 27-38 on the season.

The Cubs could not string together any hits against Roberto Hernandez over the first three innings. After being shutout for nine innings Thursday night, the Cubs could not plate any runs early Friday night. Jake Arrieta did hit part and did not allow a hit in three frames.

The Phillies wanted nothing to do with Anthony Rizzo his first two trips to the plate. Roberto Hernandez walked Rizzo to start the fourth inning on four pitches. Starlin Castro lifted a 1-1 pitch out to left. The ball carried and carried and ended up a row deep in the stands.  Castro’s ninth longball of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Valbuena grounded out to second for the first out. Nate Schierholtz drove a 2-1 pitch into left center. Schierholtz hustled out of the box and tried to leg out a double. Tony Gwynn Jr. made a perfect throw to Chase Utley and Schierholtz was the second out of the inning. Baker grounded out to second to end the inning.

Jake Arrieta retired the Phillies in order in the fourth. Arrieta threw 62 pitches, 35 for strikes, in four innings.

And after four complete, the Cubs led 2-0.

The game remained 2-0 in the Cubs favor until the bottom of the ninth. Jake Arrieta gave up two hits and a walk and Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless eighth.

Neil Ramirez led off the ninth with a double off the wall in right. Rollins just missed a home run and had to settle for a double for career hit No. 2,234. Chase Utley fouled out to Chris Coghlan down the left field line for the first out. Rollins took third on the first pitch to Ryan Howard. Ramirez struck out Howard swinging for the second out. Marlon Byrd worked a walk after taking a very close 3-2 pitch that had been called strikes all night. Domonic Brown rolled a 0-1 pitch past Barney and into right. Rollins scored, 2-1 Cubs. Byrd advanced to third on the play. And with runners on the corners and two outs, Neil Ramirez froze Carlos Ruiz with a devastating slider (1-2 pitch) to end the game.

Edwin Jackson is scheduled to face rookie right-hander David Buchanan on Saturday afternoon (2:05pm CDT).

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