Opening Day – Game One: Cubs (0-0) vs. Angels (0-0)
- Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7, ESPN2 – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 178, 844
- Location – Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Los Angeles
Jake Arrieta (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Garrett Richards (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air! It’s Opening Day!
For the first time in franchise history, the Cubs are opening a season on the road in an American League city. The Cubs were 10-10 in the 20 games with AL teams last season. The Cubs have not started a season in California since 1984, a 5-3 win over the Giants. And since 1876, the Cubs are 75-63-2 on Opening Day (46-39 on the road).
Joe Maddon begins his second season as Cubs’ skipper tonight against the organization he called his own for 18 years. This is Maddon’s 42nd year in professional baseball, 23rd in the big leagues and 11th as a manager.
Jake Arrieta takes the ball on Opening Day for the first time in a Cubs’ jersey and will look to quiet his critics throughout the season.
The Cubs Opening Day roster looks a lot different from last season. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber will experience Opening Day in the majors for the first time. Four players are on the active roster were not with the team at the end of last season (Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey and Adam Warren) and there nine players on the 25-man roster that were not with the big league team for the first game a year ago.
It’s time for the Cubs to embrace the pressure and embrace the target … the 2016 season all starts with Jake Arrieta.
Jake Arrieta had just a ridiculous season a year ago, produced an historic second half, led the Cubs into the post-season and won the National League Cy Young award. Arrieta put up the best numbers after an All-Star break than any other pitcher in the history of the game.
Arrieta finished the season with a 22-6 record in 33 starts with a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 2.35 FIP. Arrieta allowed 52 runs, 45 earned, on 150 hits with 48 walks and 236 strikeouts in 229 innings.
After the break, Arrieta was 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. In 15 starts, his only loss came on the day the Cubs were no-hit. Arrieta allowed 12 runs, nine earned, on 55 hits with 23 walks and 113 strikeouts. Arrieta continued his second half run into the post-season and dominated the Pirates before running out of gas against the Cardinals and Mets.
Arrieta is more than the one-hit wonder many in the national media have labeled him as throughout the off-season.
Jake Arrieta has pitched extremely well since the Cubs acquired him from Baltimore, along with Pedro Strop, for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger in July 2013. Arrieta is 36-13 with a 2.26 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 2.62 FIP in 67 starts with the Cubs.
Arrieta bounced back from the blister issue and put together a solid spring start his last time out against the Athletics. The Cubs and Arrieta said the blister has healed and is no longer a problem.
Tonight is the second career start for Arrieta on Opening Day, his first with the Cubs.
Outside of Wrigley Field last season, Arrieta was 13-1 in 18 starts with a 1.60 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Arrieta allowed 29 runs, 22 earned, on 83 hits with 25 walks and 129 strikeouts in 124 innings … plus one memorable night in Los Angeles.
In Interleague play last year, Arrieta was 4-1 in six starts with a 2.95 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. And he makes the fourth start of his career against the Angels tonight.
Arrieta is 0-1 in three starts versus the Angels with a 7.47 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. In 15 2/3 innings, Arrieta was charged with 13 runs, all earned, on 15 hits with eight walks and 12 strikeouts. Arrieta makes his third career start at Angel Stadium where he owns a 0-1 record in two starts with a 12.38 ERA and 2.12 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta has not faced the Angels in a regular season game since July 5, 2012.
Angels Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Yunel Escobar: 7-for-19 with a home run
- Daniel Nava: 3-for-9 with a home run and two walks
- Andrelton Simmons: 1-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Cliff Pennington: 2-for-6 with a double
- Albert Pujols: 0-for-4 with a walk
- Mike Trout: 1-for-3
Garrett Richards is healthy and he threw a lot of heat in Spring Training. Richards is clearly the best starter on the Angels staff and takes the hill on Opening Day tonight for the first time.
Richards stepped to the front of the rotation two years ago when he posted a 13-4 record in 26 starts with a 2.61 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 2.60 FIP. Richards followed up his breakout season with a 15-12 record a year ago with a 3.65 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 3.86 FIP. Richards allowed 94 runs, 84 earned, on 181 hits with 76 walks and 176 strikeouts in 207 1/3 innings.
Richards was 10-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 17 starts in his home park last season. And he makes his first career start against the Cubs tonight.
Garrett Richards has faced the Cubs twice, both times in relief and for a grand total of two innings (one hit, one strikeout).
Cubs Career Numbers against Garrett Richards
- Ben Zobrist: 6-for-11 with a home run and a walk
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-6 with a double and a walk
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-3 with a walk
- Jason Heyward: 0-for-3
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-2 with a walk
- David Ross: 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …