A Tip of the Recap – October 7th
The Cubs beat the Pirates in the Wild Card game tonight 4-0 behind Jake Arrieta and the bats of Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler.
Jake Arrieta wasn’t his usual self, but he was still great and pitched a complete-game shutout. He gave up 4 hits with 0 walks (2 HBPs though) and 11 Ks and was able to pitch around some trouble in the later innings. The Pirates had some solid contact against him and looked primed to score during a couple innings, but Arrieta got some solid defense and double plays to get out of the jams.
Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber provided all of the offense for the Cubs tonight. Fowler started off the game with a sharp single and promptly stole 2nd base. He came around to score on a bloop down the LF line off of Kyle Schwarber’s bat to give the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
Fowler hit another single in the 3rd inning, but this time he came around to score on an absolute bomb off of Schwarber’s bat for a 2-run HR and a 3-0 lead. The HR was down the RF line and there was no doubt about it off the bat.
Fowler closed up the scoring with a solo HR to right-center in the top of the 5th and he knew he got it as soon as he hit it. Fowler finished the day 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and Schwarber was 2 for 3 with 3 RBI before being replaced by Chris Denorfia for defense later in the game.
The Pirates deemed Arrieta’s 2 HBP to be too much and decided to extract their justice by having Tony Watson hit Arrieta in the hip with 2 outs in the 7th inning. Arrieta took umbrage with the pitch and the benches cleared with Sean Rodriguez going crazy and punching a defenseless Gatorade jug in the Pirates dugout.
It was an ugly situation and I was glad no one on either side got seriously hurt and no one got thrown out of the game. Arrieta’s HBPs were just instances of losing command; a fastball that glanced off the finger of Cervelli and a breaking ball that didn’t break. There was no intention on his part and I would imagine that a pitcher that is trying to win a game would not want to put men on base.
Also, the TBS broadcast was a little less than sharp in my opinion. At one point Cal Ripken referred to the Dexter Fowler as Derek Fowler and at the end of the game Ron Darling brought out the big guns with fun with numbers saying the date was 10/7 and the Cubs haven’t won a World Series for 107 years. I think that we as Cubs fans are spoiled with Len and JD and it doesn’t help that the TBS crew doesn’t do a lot of regular coverage.
Game 1 of the NLDS will be Friday evening at 5:30 PM (CST) on TBS. Jon Lester gets the start in game 1 against Michael Wacha for the Cardinals. It will be a best of 5 series with the downside of the Wild Card game being that Arrieta will only get to make 1 start in the NLDS (most likely game 3).