Arrieta makes quality start -- and an organization exhales
If you are looking for some good news from Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox – and you have to look pretty hard considering they could not score against lefty Andrew Miller, who issued six walks and two hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings – it starts with right-hander Jake Arrieta.
No Orioles official came out and said it, but there has been some quiet concern about Arrieta, who entered Wednesday with a 5.10 ERA and had allowed 14 runs in his last 14 1/3 innings.
So it was encouraging that he faced a tough Red Sox lineup and allowed just three runs – on two solo homers and a RBI groundout – in seven innings.
“It's definitely a step in the right direction. I'm not satisfied, I'm never really satisfied,” Arrieta said. “There's always room for improvement with every facet of the game for me as a pitcher.”
Most important, Arrieta didn’t allow a walk. The first time this season and second time in his career he has done that.
He said it was because he had worked on a mechanical tweak this week, aligning himself more straight up with the catcher instead of being off a bit to the right.
“It allows me to throw more consistent strikes and I think that was pretty obvious today,
really pounding the zone well,” Arrieta said. “Just aside for a couple mistakes.”
Arrieta threw a career-high 111 pitches. He threw an impressive 81 for strikes – something his manager appreciated.
“It’s good. He had good tempo. His delivery was a little quicker to the plate from the stretch, with the one exception where the guy stole on him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was pretty good for the most part most of the day, and his tempo was a lot better, which I’m sure his teammates were happy with. It’s something we’ve been trying to stress with him a little bit.”