Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5.57 ERA) took the mound against Aaron Nola (5-5, 4.44 ERA) in game two of the series, hoping to shake off an abysmal June. Arrieta went 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in his previous six starts, allowing his opponents to hit for an average of .309.
His darkly comedic trainwreck of a season continued when he allowed a grand slam in the 1st, staking the Phillies to an early four-run lead. For the sake of consistency, he allowed Philadelphia to score three more times in the 2nd, because why not.
It’s his second straight start in which a team held a 7-0 lead, and the opponent ended with 15 both times. Arrieta lasted only 1.2 innings before being pulled, but not before he yielded seven earned runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Phillies responded with two more in the 4th off Trevor Williams, who the Cubs activated off the 10-day IL earlier in the day. Báez drove in his second run of the night with a solo shot in the 6th, but Philadelphia responded with an additional six runs in their half of the 7th.
Pederson and Báez pushed across three in the bottom of the frame while Jake Marisnick and Ian Happ added a pair in the 8th. The Cubs’ latest signing, Robinson Chirinos, homered in the 9th, but that was as close as they would get before ultimately losing by a final of 15-10. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Arrieta. The Cubs lost because of Arrieta.
Giving up a grand slam in the 1st isn’t the best way to start the night. Considering how bad the offense has been for the last three weeks, the game was essentially over after only four batters.
Stats That Matter
- Since June 14, the Cubs are slashing .197/.276/.626
- In that same span, Cubs pitching has an ERA of 5.62 while allowing 156 hits, 34 home runs, and 88 walks with a 1.37 WHIP
- The Cubs have been outscored 51-17 since their seven-run 1st inning in Milwaukee last Wednesday
There’s no conceivable way the Cubs can allow Arrieta to take the mound for his next scheduled start. If they do, it will unequivocally signal they’re prepared for a fire sale and plan to tank the rest of the season.
Alec Mills (3-2, 4.85 ERA) squares off against Zack Wheeler (6-4, 2.05 ERA) in game three of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CT on Marquee, 670 The Score, and WRTO for Spanish speakers.