A Tip of the Recap: April 10 (Cubs 7, D-backs 3)

Cubs record: 5-1 (t-1, NL Central)

W: Jake Arrieta

L: Shelby Miller

MVP: Jake Arrieta

Heading into Sunday’s game, Jake Arrieta had given up only two home runs in his last million or so innings pitched. Okay, it was actually only 22 starts. Either way, he had hit three of his own in that same stretch. The Diamondbacks doubled Arrieta’s allowed total, but the Cy Young one-upped them to even the total. He wasn’t at his best during his second outing of the season, but he still managed to pick up his 22nd straight quality start to push the Cubs to 5-1.

The good

Arrieta’s home run was an absolute blast, but the massive power alleys at Chase Field almost made you feel as though it was going to be swallowed up. You’ll be hard pressed to find a field that can contain a 442-foot bomb, though, and this one easily cleared the wall above the 413 sign. Who wants some fun stats about Arrieta and home runs?

And how ’bout some video?

And just in case you can’t get enough, here’s the StatCast look at the blast:

The Diamondbacks made a game of it when Paul Goldschmidt and Socrates Brito hit homers of their own, with the latter tying the game at 3 in the 5th. Jorge Soler immediately broke the tie with a tater of his own in the 6th and the Cubs stepped on the gas from that point.

Home runs are great, but this Cubs team is able to score in so many different ways. Going first-to-third on a single now seems like the norm instead of some kind of unexpected prize. They’re incredibly aggressive without being reckless, as evidenced by Jason Heyward advancing to third on a Kris Bryant single that skipped off of shortstop Chris Owings’ glove.

The ball was hit sharply to the left side and the carom kept it in fairly shallow left, but Heyward didn’t hesitate for a second. He made it to third without a throw and later scored on a sac fly from Soler. These guys just keep hitting and keep running and keep seeing lots of pitches. It’s great to watch a team that can bomb away but that doesn’t have to to win.

It was also very nice to see Neil Ramirez get his first action of the season, picking up two strikeouts in the 9th. Even better, he was sitting 93-94 and needed only 12 pitches to get through the frame. It’s not the mid-to-upper 90’s stuff he flashed a couple seasons ago, but he was locating well and looked confident.

The bad

I guess I could stretch and say that Arrieta missing his spots a little more than usual was a bad thing, though that’s only because the guy has been so incredibly dominant over the last year.

The ugly

Nothing ugly about this one, unless it’s those massive gaps at Chase Field that I don’t think anyone is going to miss.

Coming attractions

The Cubs head home for the first time to face Brandon Finnegan and the surprising 5-1 Reds. You may remember Finnegan for his breakout performance as a relief pitcher for the Royals in the 2014 playoffs, which came a few short months after Kansas City made him the 17th pick in the draft. He was traded to Cincy as part of the deal for Johnny Cueto and is trying to establish himself as a starter. The Cubs will send Jon Lester to the bump for the 7:05pm CT start and word has it that Kyle Schwarber will be announced with the team.

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