Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 3
WP – Patrick Corbin (3-5) LP – Jake Arrieta (9-1) Save – Brad Ziegler (11)
Jake Arrieta lasted only five innings and lost his first game since July 25, 2015 on Sunday afternoon. Arrieta struck out a season-high 12 batters and gave up nine hits. Arrieta doubled in a run and Javier Baez homered. The Cubs offense could not stop grounding out to left side of the Diamondbacks’ infield and lost the finale of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
Jake Arrieta appeared off in the first two innings. Arrieta could not put hitters away. He allowed the Diamondbacks to run up his pitch count. It took Arrieta 51 pitches to complete two innings. Arrieta struck out 12 and issued only one walk. Seemingly every ball the Diamondbacks put in play found a hole. Arrieta allowed three runs on nine hits, eight singles and one double, and needed 108 pitches, 69 for strikes, to complete five innings.
Jake Arrieta, Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood combined on 18 strikeouts, the most strikeouts for a Cubs’ team since 1998.
Trevor Cahill, Justin Grimm, Travis Wood and Adam Warren did their jobs in relief of Arrieta but the Cubs could not complete the comeback.
The Cubs offense played right into the hand of Patrick Corbin. The D-Backs’ lefty is a better pitcher than he’s shown this season and he was at the top of his game Sunday. The Cubs hit grounder after grounder. Corbin recorded 15 groundball outs, nine to third baseman Jake Lamb, and not a single fly ball out.
The Cubs managed only five hits, one from Jake Arrieta. Joe Maddon’s lineup against left-handed starters without Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward fizzled for the second time in the homestand. The Cubs are not the same team without Rizzo, and that was proven again Sunday.
Joe Maddon was ejected from Sunday’s game in the seventh inning by first base umpire Tripp Gibson for arguing balls and strikes. Trevor Cahill appeared to get Paul Goldschmidt to chase a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Goldschmidt tried to check his swing, and everyone watching the game, including Goldschmidt, thought he swung … except for Tripp Gibson. Maddon disagreed with the call and as soon as he stepped on the field he was tossed.
The Cubs won the series (2-1) and the season-series (5-2) against the Diamondbacks while finishing the homestand with an 8-2 record.
Jake Arrieta struck out 12 batters on Sunday afternoon. And the season-high 12 strikeouts ran up his pitch count. Arrieta, however, was off and needed 51 pitches to complete two innings. It was obvious early on that he would have a short outing.
Arrieta left too many pitches up in the zone. The Diamondbacks made contact and benefited from several balls finding holes. Arrieta cannot be expected to be throw a shutout every time he takes the hill. But he did not have it early in Sunday’s game.
The Diamondbacks jumped on Arrieta in the second inning. After taking 26 pitches to complete the first inning, Chris Herrmann led off the inning with a single to left (2-1 pitch). Chris Owings singled to right center (0-2 pitch) and put two on with no outs. Yasmany Tomas drove a 1-0 pitch to the alley in right center. The ball rolled all the way to the ivy and both Herrmann and Owings scored, 2-0 Diamondbacks. Arrieta struck out Drury, Corbin and Bourn to end the second inning.
The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the second. Matt Szczur singled to left. Miguel Montero pulled a 3-2 pitch to first. Paul Goldschmidt fielded the ball and threw to second. Szczur was forced but Corbin was late covering and then couldn’t find the bag. Montero reached on another D-Backs’ defensive miscue.
Jake Arrieta lifted a 1-0 pitch to center. The ball kept carrying and just missed landing in the basket. Michael Bourn had the ball hit off his glove. Montero scored and Arrieta ended up at second with a double. Dexter Fowler rolled over another pitch and grounded out to third to end the inning.
After two, the Diamondbacks led 2-1.
The Diamondbacks tacked on in the fifth and it should have been a lot more than just one run.
Patrick Corbin singled to left on a 2-2 pitch from Arrieta. Michael Bourn bunted through Arrieta’s first pitch. Montero threw out Corbin trying to swipe second base. Bourn reached on a dribbler toward Zobrist. Phil Gosselin singled to center, third straight hit off Arrieta.
Paul Goldschmidt ripped a 3-2 pitch into left. Bourn scored easily, 3-1 Diamondbacks. Arrieta struck out Jake Lamb. Chris Herrmann rolled a 3-2 pitch toward first. Kris Bryant was caught in no man’s land and his inexperience at first base showed on the play. Bryant fielded the ball. Herrmann hustled down the line and beat Bryant’s throw to Arrieta. The D-Backs bailed out the Cubs. Goldschmidt did not see that Gosselin stopped and ended up at third base. Arrieta threw to third base and Baez eventually tagged out Gosselin to end the inning.
Miguel Montero led off the fifth with a single to center. Maddon let Arrieta hit for himself and he bunted Montero to second. But Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist both grounded out to third base to end the inning.
After five innings, the Cubs trailed 3-1.
Trevor Cahill struck out three of the four batters he faced in the sixth. And Javier Baez inched the Cubs a little closer with a solo homer to the bleachers in right.
At the end of six, the Cubs were down 3-2. And that would be the final score. The Cubs were not able to string together any hits against Tyler Clippard or Brad Zeigler.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 39-16 on the season.
The Cubs hit the road and begin a nine-game, three city trip Monday night (6:05pm CDT) with the first of three in Philadelphia. Jon Lester faces lefty Adam Morgan in the opener.