Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Arrieta falters in longest start this spring

Pitch count a plus but timing off; Knapp impressive again
March 14, 2019

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta was happy to get his pitch count up to 65, but there wasn’t much else he enjoyed about his third outing of the spring. Arrieta gave up five runs, six hits and walked three over 3 1/3 innings of an 11-2 loss to the Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta was happy to get his pitch count up to 65, but there wasn’t much else he enjoyed about his third outing of the spring.

Arrieta gave up five runs, six hits and walked three over 3 1/3 innings of an 11-2 loss to the Pirates at LECOM Park on Thursday.

After his spring ERA climbed to 7.88, Arrieta said he’s ready to move on.

“I’m not going to cry about it, no, I’m not going to watch video at all,” Arrieta said. “Didn’t feel great. Got to 65 pitches. That was the goal. Obviously I would have liked better results but it didn’t happen that way. Move on. That’s it.”

The day started off on the wrong foot for Arrieta when he gave up a leadoff home run to Adam Frazier. Corey Dickerson added to the damage with a long ball in the third.

Arrieta said that his timing never felt right.

“Yeah, I was frustrated out there today for sure,” Arrieta said. “Results didn’t go my way. I told pitching coach [Chris Young] I feel like I was cutting every fastball off, feel like my arm was short for whatever reason. I feel healthy, feel good. Just timing wasn’t great. Lot of walks.”

The final three batters Arrieta faced in the bottom of the fourth perfectly summed up his day. He gave up a single to Melky Cabrera and walked Colin Moran on four pitches before giving up an RBI double to Kevin Newman.

Manager Gabe Kapler said that it was clear Arrieta was struggling with his timing but there was nothing else concerning.

“I think Jake, his timing was a little bit off and Jake is definitely reliant on his timing,” Kapler said. “He made a few mistakes, but he also made some good pitches. Just in general, I think his timing wasn’t where he wanted it to be today.”

The current plan is for Arrieta to have two more spring starts.

“I felt good in the bullpen, the ball is coming out pretty well,” Arrieta said. “Just one of those Spring Training days where it didn’t sync quite the way I would have liked it.”

Knapp continues string spring

Coming into spring, Kapler said that Andrew Knapp was in the “driver’s seat” for the backup catcher spot. With less than two weeks to go until Opening Day, Knapp remains in control.

“Knapp’s performance this spring, both behind the plate with his arm strength and swinging the bat, [has been notable].” Kapler said. “He’s really standing out in that regard.”

Knapp threw Cabrera out trying to steal second in the bottom of the fourth inning and went 2-for-3 with a double at the plate. He is hitting .345 this spring.

“Knapp has kind of solidified his position,” Kapler said. “He just has done a really good job maintaining open eyes. He’s swung the bat well from both sides of the plate. He’s maintained his professionalism at the plate, worked long, professional at-bats, and he’s looking good behind the plate, specifically when it comes to his throwing. I think he’s really looked good, both in his workouts and in game action.”