The Chicago Cubs saw a scare Monday, with star pitcher Jake Arrieta leaving in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates after an apparent leg injury. Here’s a clip of Arrieta throwing a pitch and immediately wincing and hopping around, leading to trainers coming out to investigate him:
After a long conversation, Arrieta tried a practice pitch, but couldn’t make it through the windup, wincing and doubling over when planting his foot:
Here’s a shot of Arrieta’s expression:
Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta grimaces after trying to throw a practice pitch for the trainer in the third inning against the Pirates. pic.twitter.com/natOFZkS8X
— Matt Freed (@mattfreedpghpg) September 4, 2017
ESPN’s Marly Rivera tweeted that Arrieta “could barely put any weight on his right leg as he was walking down the steps to the Cubs’ dugout.” That doesn’t seem good. CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney tweeted that the team’s trying to figure out if this is a cramp or something more serious:
#Cubs checking back of Jake Arrieta's right leg to determine extent of injury. Unclear if it's a cramp or more serious hamstring issue.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) September 4, 2017
Losing Arrieta for any length of time could be a major blow for the Cubs, as they only had a four-game lead on the Brewers in the NL Central race entering the day. That’s especially true given how As ESPN’s stats account noted, Arrieta has a 1.59 ERA since the All-Star break, the best in MLB over that period. And he’s improved dramatically from his early-season performance:
Jake Arrieta has a 1.69 ERA in 11 starts since the beginning of July, nearly 3 full runs lower than his ERA through the end of June. pic.twitter.com/fEHZ639MbI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 4, 2017
Per Fangraphs, Arrieta has an 8.72 K/9 and a 2.96 BB/9 rate for the season, both steps up over last year despite his struggles earlier this season. And he’s been worth 2.8 wins above replacement for the year even with that subpar showing in the first few months, which says volumes about how well he’s pitched lately. Hopefully this won’t turn out to be anything major, but if it is serious, that could have important effects on the pennant race and potentially the playoffs.
[Matt Clapp on Clippit]