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Rockies 6, Cubs 5: It’s time to end the Jake Arrieta experiment

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The former Cubs hero just doesn’t have it anymore.

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

None of us will ever forget Jake Arrieta’s two no-hitters, his amazing 2015 season or his World Series performances. But it appears he is a mere shell of that pitcher now. Perhaps an agreed-upon retirement where he gets paid the rest of his deal anyway? That would be more respectful, I think, that just giving him his unconditional release. And I don’t think moving him to the bullpen would work, either; he just doesn’t seem suited to that role and besides, giving up a run an inning — that won’t fly in the pen, either.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Jake since he came to the Cubs, I own one of his game-worn jerseys. He will always be a Cubs World Series champion. But this is just embarrassing and the Cubs should work out a gracious way for him to depart.

Arrieta put the Cubs in a hole by allowing one run in each of the first four innings, three of those on solo homers. Jake’s velocity seems fine — he’s hitting 93 frequently — but the pitches seem to have no movement on them and opposing hitters are just teeing off on him. He won’t have enough innings to qualify but this has to be one of the worst seasons by a starting pitcher in franchise history.

The Cubs did come back from the 4-0 hole Jake put him in, but wound up losing the game anyway, 6-5.

It might have been worse if not for two runners thrown out by Willson Contreras on the bases. He got Raimel Tapia stealing in the first and then in the fourth, with the Rockies still putting together an inning, he picked Yonathan Daza off third base [VIDEO].

Then, just as they did Wednesday evening, the Cubs put together a solid fifth-inning rally, all the runs scoring with two out. With one out, Johneshwy Fargas singled, and one out later, Andrew Romine batted for Arrieta and singled Fargas to third — good baserunning by Fargas, incidentally, going first-to-third on a short single to left.

Rafael Ortega singled in Fargas to make it 4-1 [VIDEO].

Contreras made it 4-3 with a ringing double [VIDEO].

Despite the trades of many of his World Series teammates, Contreras still plays hard every single day (and the Cubs ought to extend him). You can see in the video how fired-up he was after that hit. He took third on an errant throw when Ortega scored, and then Ian Happ’s single tied the game [VIDEO].

That’s real good hitting — four runs in Coors Field without a home run, taking balls the other way... I liked that inning a lot.

Unfortunately, reliever Jake Jewell gave the Rockies the lead right back in the bottom of the inning on a single and Trevor Story’s second home run of the game.

These Cubs did not quit, though. David Bote led off the sixth with a double and Frank Schwindel singled him in [VIDEO].

I have been a bit dismissive of Schwindel due to his age and lack of any truly great minor-league performances, but he had hits in all three games of this series and is 4-for-12 (.333) as a Cub. He’s certainly no long-term answer for this team, but the guy can apparently actually hit major-league pitching.

But the Cubs could score no more runs and lost two of three to the Rox. There’s really no shame in that, as I mentioned in the game preview, only three visiting teams have won a series in Coors Field this year, all contenders: Athletics, Dodgers, Mets.

The Cubs return home Friday to begin a three-game series against the White Sox at Wrigley Field, which ought to be interesing for any number of reasons. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and Lance Lynn is the scheduled starter for the Sox. Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be on Marquee Sports Network, NBC Sports Chicago (Sox announcers) and also on MLB Network (outside Cubs/White Sox market territory).

Poll

What should the Cubs do with Jake Arrieta?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Let him finish the year in the rotation
    (342 votes)
  • 7%
    Move him to the bullpen for the rest of the year
    (94 votes)
  • 40%
    Work out some sort of deal where he retires, but gets paid the rest of his contract
    (506 votes)
  • 23%
    Give him his unconditional release
    (301 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (14 votes)
1257 votes total Vote Now