Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 0
WP – Jake Arrieta (18-6) LP – Robbie Ray (3-11) Save – Hector Rondon (26)
Jake Arrieta followed up his no-hitter with a gem against the Diamondbacks. Arrieta kept the top offense in the National League off the scoreboard for eight innings on a day with the wind blowing out at Wrigley. David Ross plated the first run with a bases loaded ground out in the fourth inning and Dexter Fowler homered in the fifth as the Cubs took game two from the Diamondbacks on Saturday afternoon.
Jake Arrieta was not sharp early. Arrieta gave up two hits in the first inning, faced the minimum in the second and was dialed in by the third inning. On a day Arrieta threw 116 pitches, 25 came in the first and he needed 38 to complete two innings.
Jake Arrieta retired 16 batters in a row from the second (leadoff single by Jake Lamb) until two outs in the seventh (ground rule double to center by Jarrod Saltalamacchia). The double by Salty was the first extra basehit off Arrieta since Aug. 15. Arrieta allowed four hits through seven innings. And Arrieta completed his fifth three up, three down inning in the eighth.
Jake Arrieta surrendered four hits and no walks over eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts on 116 pitches, 76 for strikes. Arrieta has allowed one unearned run in his last four starts (29 innings). And Saturday was his 15th straight quality start.
Hector Rondon gave up a pair of hits in the ninth. Kris Bryant started a 5-4-3 double play that kept Rondon out of trouble and allowed him to face Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty. Rondon got the job done and recorded the 27th out of the game.
The offense did just enough Saturday against Robbie Ray and the Diamondbacks’ bullpen. The Cubs had opportunities (1-for-6 with RISP, six left on base) but managed only two runs on four hits and four walks.
David Ross (0-for-2 with a walk and a RBI) plated the Cubs first run on bouncer over the mound in the fourth inning with the bases loaded. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored. The Cubs could not take advantage of second and third with one out in the fourth and tack on.
Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) supplied Jake Arrieta and Hector Rondon a little breathing room. Fowler led off the fifth with a home run to left on the first pitch of the inning from Robbie Ray.
Starlin Castro (2-for-3) had two of the Cubs’ four hits and Javier Baez (0-for-3 with a walk) had a key walk in the fourth inning.
The Cubs’ defense was outstanding Saturday. The Cubs turned two double plays (1-6-3, 5-4-3) at crucial times in the game. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez played a role in keeping the Diamondbacks off the board. And Arrieta made two excellent plays of his own.
With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 77-57 on the season.
Jake Arrieta set the Diamondbacks down in order for the second straight inning in the fourth. Arrieta needed 64 pitches, 42 for strikes, to complete four innings. Arrieta gave up a pair of hits with two outs in the first inning and three through four frames.
Anthony Rizzo started the fourth with a single to center. Javier Baez worked a walk with a very good plate appearance. Starlin Castro singled to right on a 3-2 pitch. Gary Jones held Rizzo at third. The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs.
David Ross had a professional at bat. Ross chopped a 3-2 pitch over the mound to Brandon Drury near the bag. Drury’s only play was to first base. Rizzo scored, 1-0 Cubs. With the infield in and runners on second and third, Jake Arrieta struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Addison Russell went down swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
After four innings, the Cubs led 1-0.
Jake Arrieta completed his third straight 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. Arrieta made 73 pitches, 48 for strikes, in five innings.
Dexter Fowler gave Arrieta a little breathing room. Fowler hit Robbie Ray’s first pitch of the fifth inning into the bleachers in left. Fowler’s homer made it 2-0 Cubs. Ray struck out Jackson (looking), Bryant (swinging) and Rizzo (looking) to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 2-0 lead after five innings.
And that would be the final score. Arrieta allowed just one baserunner over his last three innings of work. Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the shutout with help from a 5-4-3 double play started by Kris Bryant on a smash off the bat of A.J. Pollock.
Kyle Hendricks faces Rubby De La Rosa in the series and homestand finale on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).