Jake Arrieta: Sinker moving more than ever

Annette Crawford
April 21, 2018

For a team that has finished at the bottom of the division in three of the last four seasons, Arrieta and the Phillies should just be happy for even being in this position at the end of April when it comes to the NL East standings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates travel to Citizens Bank Park for a Thursday MLB tilt with the Philadelphia Phillies. Taillon was lifted in the second inning after allowing five earned runs on four hits. The opposing starter, Jake Arrieta, a longtime nemesis of the Pirates and a former Cy Young victor, pitched seven shutout innings for the Phillies, striking out 10 of the 24 batters he faced, and allowed only one hit - an infield single. An unimpressive 5.87 ERA and the inability to pitch out of the sixth inning will haunt the young righty in the very near future as Eickhoff regains his health.

After recording only nine swings and misses in his first two outings this season, Arrieta induced 14 swings and misses against the Pirates while relying primarily on his sinker.

"I knew I was going to be pretty crisp in the bullpen", Arrieta said. When I get my foot down, I'm able to drive the ball downhill to my glove side.

Philadelphia signed the 32-year-old Arrieta as a free agent in March to a three-year, $75 million contract.

"I was little behind", Arrieta said, "but now I'm caught up". Arrieta started for the Cubs that day.

Assuming Arrieta continues to display more performances like the one against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia is going to be an interesting team to keep an eye on over the next couple of months if they continue to play like they have as of late.

In Arrieta's 20 starts against the Pirates - most of which came when he was with the Chicago Cubs - he is 10-6 with a 3.18 ERA.

Jameson Taillon didn't want to take the bait. He gave up five hits and three walks and was the beneficiary of slick defense. "Cesar Hernandez knocked in three runs with a bases loaded single".

Arrieta came out in attack mode, striking out the first two batters of the game on fastballs that registered 94 and 93 miles per hour, respectively. "And if he's a little bit better, he's unhittable".

In the home-team dugout, Philadelphia's pitching staff has yielded 3.8 runs per game overall this year.

"I knew it was going to be part of my responsibility, and I relish that responsibility", Arrieta said.

"He's been among the best leaders I've ever been around", Kapler said. "I think we're already on our way to doing that with all of the young arms in the rotation".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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