Chicago Cubs lose game, Jake Arrieta in series opener against Pirates
By Jake Misener
The series opener in Pittsburgh was a disaster on multiple fronts for the Chicago Cubs, as they dropped the game – and lost right-hander Jake Arrieta to injury.
Thanks to the Cincinnati Reds walking off against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs’ 12-0 loss on Monday afternoon means slightly less. More importantly, the club lost right-hander Jake Arrieta to what appeared to be a right hamstring injury.
After delivering a pitch to Josh Bell, Arrieta grimaced. With Joe Maddon and the training staff surrounding him, he tried to stretch it out. Then, he attempted another warm-up pitch before yelling in pain and leaving under his own power.
Chicago (75-62) maintains a 3 1/2 game lead in the Central, despite the loss. The story of the day for Pittsburgh, meanwhile, was first baseman Josh Bell. He took Arrieta deep in the bottom of the first for a two-run home run. On the afternoon, he finished with three hits and four RBI.
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Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl put forth arguably the best start of his career. He struck out eight and walked two, although he worked in and out of trouble early on.
In the top of the second, outfielder Starling Marte gunned down Ben Zobrist at the plate to keep Chicago off the board. On the afternoon, the Cubs really never got anything going offensively. On a plus note, Kris Bryant doubled twice, raising his average to .289 on the year.
Obviously, the focus remains on Arrieta. Late in the game, reports surfaced that the training staff was working on his hamstring. However, it remained unclear whether it was a severe cramp or something more serious.
Chicago just got Jon Lester back. The plan was to move forward with a six-man rotation, but if Arrieta gets sidelined, they’ll move back to a five-man staff. Again, though, that remains to be seen.
All in all, it was a dumpster fire of a ballgame. And that’s putting it mildly.
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Chicago and Pittsburgh continues its series on Tuesday at PNC Park.
Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.32) starts for the Cubs. Steven Brault (0-0, 5.93) takes the ball for the Pirates. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT.