Falling behind batters
Sounds simple enough, but, in reality, it’s been a real struggle for Arrieta. The former Orioles prospect has seen drastically different results based on the result of the first pitch of an at-bat.
The more the count tilts in favor of the batter, the worse Arrieta has fared. In the past, he worked these situations back in his favor, relying on pinpoint control to work out of trouble. But he’s struggled to do so in 2017.
In the free-swinging 3-1 counts, opponents are batting a staggering .600 against Arrieta – to go along with a 1.369 OPS. And once these men reach, teammates are driving them in at a staggering rate (.462/.511/.692).
Compare those numbers to his record-setting 2015 campaign.
Arrieta found himself in just 24 3-1 counts the entire season. He’s already found himself in that situation 13 times in 2017. It’s not a matter of just failing to execute. The Chicago workhorse is setting himself up to fail by falling behind hitters more often than not.