OSS: Cubs bats get over their bizarre Big Game James issues, Arrieta has a solid performance, and the Cubs are back in first place.
Jake looked pretty good tonight, and his final line was 6.2 IP, 2 H, 2R, 2 BB, 5 K. Obviously Jay Carrieta isn't walking through that door anymore, but this was a solid start. He had great movement on his pitches and was generally around the strike zone. Perkins pointed out in the game thread that Arrieta only throwing ~60% strikes wouldn't cut it against a real MLB team, but that seems kind of normal to me. At least by the eyeball norm, that's roughly what he did in most of his starts in 2015-16 too*.
*While looking up these stats I stumbled across this fangraphs article about "Jacob" Arrieta and Wade Davis. Fun times!
- The Cubs hitters started off slowly against Shields, but came through as the game went on. Rizzo had the best day at the plate, going 3-4 with four RsBI including a bases-clearing double that lodged under the tarp at the base of the wall.
- Jon Jay made a hell of a catch early in the game, and was pretty good at the plate today too. He reached base three times and drove in a run.
- Shields still has Bryant's number for some reason, though at least he put two balls in play this time.
- Ian Happ was the only Cub not to reach base in this one. Well, sort of. He did reach on a fielders choice that nailed Zobrist at the plate.
- He made up for it somewhat with a late homer, but Addison Russell had a rough game up to that point including a bases loaded flyout to end the Cubs first rally against Shields.
Next up: Jon Lester takes on Mike Pelfrey at 7:10 PM CT. If the Cubs win, they get the Crosstown Cup back (assuming the White Sox haven't traded it for some A-ball second baseman). If they lose and split the series, ownership of the cup goes to the electoral college or something.