With only one start remaining against the Seattle Mariners this Saturday, Jake Arrieta is still winless throughout the month of July.
He has gone 0-3 from the mound this month after being let off the hook in Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox due to the Chicago Cubs two-run ninth inning which made him a non-factor in the win-loss column.
Arrieta started the game strong, only allowing three hits through the first five innings but the improvement went unnoticed after he sent Melky Cabrera to first on a walk and Jose Abreu smacked a line drive for a single in the sixth inning.
Two batters later, a 0-1 pitch was jacked out of the yard by Todd Frazier for a three-run homer.
Arrieta has been able to put up some incredible numbers this season. He has a 12-4 record, an ERA of 2.76, 135 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.08. With all that being said, he hasn’t looked as strong lately as he started the season and in nowhere near the hero that he became during the second half of last season.
With one start left this month, his ERA is sitting at 5.55 throughout July. His highest ERA this month was Monday night against the White Sox at 2.76. He wasn’t much better on July 8th in Pittsburgh reaching 2.68. He has only pitched 24.1 innings so far. July 19 against the New York Mets has been his only start where he went past the 6th inning. He has only sent 24 batters to the dugout on strikes, four against the Mets on July 2, six at Pittsburgh on the 8th, he stroke out eight when he faced the Mets in Chicago on the 19th and threw six more Monday against the South Siders. Statistically, this has been his worst month of the season.
During the month of June, Arrieta pitched 28 innings, which will more than likely be his lowest monthly total after this Saturday. He gave up 12 runs on 23 hits in June and has already passed both those numbers in July. He threw 524 pitches in June, 317 of them resulting in strikes. So far this month he has only thrown 382 pitches but the result has been only 254 strikes.
While he has a higher percentage of strikes in July, he will need to keep some heat on his ball for that stat to stay the same. From June 26-July 17, Arrieta was below the league average when it comes to exit velocity of his pitch.
So what will happen Saturday? Will he build from the strong start he showed through the first five innings last Monday night? Or were the struggles he faced in the sixth a sign of things to come?