The Cubs (101-57) got a first inning home run from Anthony Rizzo and it felt like maybe this could be a night where their offense would be unleashed.
The game was tied 1-1 coming out of the first inning and it stayed that way until the fourth inning. That’s when John Jaso came alive by hitting a three-run home run off Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) , who was not particularly great tonight. Jaso had his way with Cubs pitching all night long, hitting for the cycle and driving in 5 runs to lead the way for the Pirates in an 8-4 win over the Cubs (Box Score).
Oh, and that first inning home run by Rizzo, that was the last hit the Cubs would get until the top of the seventh inning, when they took advantage of a hit-by-pitch, a walk, a throwing error and a single to score three runs. That would be the extent of their offense for the night.
This was one to be filed away in the ‘just one of those nights’ category. A tough loss but one that didn’t matter – in the standings at least – as this season comes to an end.
Stats that matter
- Jake was off and that was hard to watch – 5.0IP, 7R, 10H, 2BB, 4Ks, HR, 103 pitches
- Anthony Rizzo went deep, so there’s that – 1-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, HR
Jake Arrieta had a rough night. He gave up seven runs on ten hits through five innings. It was the highest number of earned runs he’s given up in a game all year. Not exactly what you want to see heading into the playoffs, and yes, I’ll admit, it makes me a little nervous. The upside is that, unlike last year, the Cubs have two other rock solid options come playoff time and a third not-so-bad option in John Lackey.
Jake can certainly get back to where he needs to be but he’s got to believe in himself in order to get there. I’ve never doubted whether Jake believes in himself but I have to wonder what’s swimming around in his dome after tonight. Hopefully, he’s able to brush it off, look at his previous four outings and know this was ‘just one of those nights.’
The Cubs close out the four-game set on Thursday night at 6:05 PM CT. It’s a bullpen day tomorrow as Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 1.46 ERA) will get the start for the Cubs. He’s been good so far this year, and he was a starter in the minors before being called up, so this won’t be a throw-away game for the Cubs by any means.