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Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 4: Welcome back, Jake Arrieta

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Jake Arrieta threw well, and the Cubs hit two home runs, but lost.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It almost felt weird to have Sunday afternoon’s Cubs game go a full nine innings. I was kind of getting used to the seven-inning thing. Apparently the D-backs wanted the full nine.

Here’s another thing that was weird during the Cubs’ 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks:

I thought the funniest thing was the couple of gameday staff who tried to entice the goose off the field with bread crumbs. I am telling you, I have watched these geese in other places and they simply will not move until they are good and ready to. This particular goose stood there for a couple of innings, not even moving when fielders did.

If you didn’t see the game, here’s some goose video.

All right, now on to baseball. Looking at Jake Arrieta pitching, it could have been 2015 or 2016. He looks exactly the same, he looks in great shape. He allowed a hit and a walk in the first inning, then threw a 1-2-3 second. It was a nice re-debut for Jake, and I look forward to seeing him throw more innings in his next outing. Here’s the ground out Jake induced to end the second inning [VIDEO].

The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer by Willson Contreras [VIDEO].

In the top of the third, Miguel Amaya singled with one out and Anthony Rizzo brought him home with this two-run blast [VIDEO].

That all sounds good, but Adbert Alzolay, who was so good in his first outing Tuesday, was awful in this one. One of the things that seems to have regressed, at least in this appearance, was his command. He walked two, ran some long counts, allowed four hits and two walks and after Steven Vogt smacked a two-run homer in the fourth inning, that was it for Adbert after 32 pitches, only 15 of which were strikes.

Hopefully this is an aberration. The Cubs are still waiting for a ruling from MLB as to whether Alzolay will have a fourth-year option (there are some other players affected by this as well), and if so, he might wind up starting the year at Iowa with Alec Mills in the No. 5 rotation spot.

Brandon Workman and former D-back Andrew Chafin, two guys who will definitely be in the MLB bullpen this year, threw scoreless innings, so that’s good. Jason Adam and Robert Stock also did not allow runs in their innings.

The sub Cubs pushed across a run in the seventh to make it 5-4. Here’s the RBI single by P.J. Higgins [VIDEO].

And that’s where the game ended, in a 5-4 loss.

If you want to watch this game, it will be re-broadcast on MLB Network at 5 a.m. CT Monday.

Monday afternoon, the Cubs will return to Sloan Park to face the Texas Rangers. Zach Davies will start for the Cubs and Kohei Arihara starts for Texas. Game time is 2:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.