Jake Arrieta pitches Cubs to 4-1 victory vs. Orioles
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media August 22, 2014 8:17PM
Updated: August 23, 2014 11:41PM
Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta hasn’t forgotten his time with the Baltimore Orioles. Instead of simply moving on from that part of his career, he still draws on the positive and negative experiences he had in Baltimore.
It was clear during the Cubs’ 4-1 victory Friday against the Orioles that those years haven’t been wasted.
‘‘You think about it all the time,’’ Arrieta said. ‘‘That’s just part of my development. Those years still are very important to me for a lot of reasons. Regardless of how certain situations went — negatively or positively — they all impacted my career in a certain way.’’
In July 2013, the Orioles traded Arrieta, reliever Pedro Strop and two international signing slots to the Cubs for right-hander Scott Feldman and utility player Steve Clevenger. The deal put an end to an up-and-down four years with the Orioles for Arrieta, who went from being their Opening Day starter in 2012 to a piece of a trade for
another pitcher after struggling with consistency and control.
Those problems seem to have been fixed with the Cubs.
‘‘He’s just being more consistent; he always has [had] the good stuff,’’ Strop said. ‘‘It’s just being consistent and being focused on what he needs to do.’’
When he was traded to the Cubs, Arrieta was 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in his career and was languishing
in Class AAA. He needed a change of scenery.
He got it and has matured into the Cubs’ best starter. Arrieta (7-4) retired the first 13 batters he faced Friday and allowed one run in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.53.
‘‘I’m thankful for those times over there, those years there, and I’ll continue to use them for future reference, to reach back in the memory bank and think about certain times and certain situations that I had there that I have now and how I react and handle those,’’
Arrieta said. ‘‘I think about it a lot.’’
The impact of the trade was easy to think about Friday. The Orioles got three months from Feldman before he signed with the Houston Astros as a free agent, and Clevenger is in Class AAA. The Cubs, meanwhile, picked up a potential long-term piece of their rotation in Arrieta and a setup man in Strop, who pitched a scoreless eighth Friday and has a 2.40 ERA.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter called it ‘‘a good trade’’ that worked out for both teams.
‘‘At the time, I told Jake and
Pedro, ‘This is a great move for both you guys,’ ’’ Showalter said. ‘‘They did some great things for us, and we’re very appreciative of it. They handled themselves very professionally, good teammates, and the Cubs are going to like them for a long while.’’
They will if Strop and Arrieta do what they did Friday, which was more than enough after home runs by Luis Valbuena in the fourth and Javy Baez in the fifth against the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman.
‘‘I thought [Arrieta] was throwing extremely well, executing pitches,’’ Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘Did a great job.’’
NOTES: Manager Rick Renteria said everyone in the Cubs’ rotation will be pushed back a day. He said left-hander Travis Wood will pitch Wednesday in Cincinnati, but he hasn’t named a starter for Tuesday, which would have been right-hander Edwin Jackson’s turn. Jackson went on the disabled list Thursday.
† Multiple media outlets reported Orioles third baseman Manny Machado needs surgery on his right knee and will miss the rest of the season. He missed the end of last season after having surgery on his left knee.