CHICAGO -- What does it take to beat Jake Arrieta? Shut down the Cubs' offense.On Tuesday night the Dodgers ended a streak of 23 regular-season wins by the Cubs in games Arrieta started, posting a 5-0 victory at Wrigley Field. The last time the Cubs lost when he started was
CHICAGO -- What does it take to beat Jake Arrieta? Shut down the Cubs' offense.
On Tuesday night the Dodgers ended a streak of 23 regular-season wins by the Cubs in games Arrieta started, posting a 5-0 victory at Wrigley Field. The last time the Cubs lost when he started was on July 25, 2015, when the Phillies' Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter at Wrigley.
"Jake was really good and had really good command," manager Joe Maddon said of the reigning National League Cy Young winner, who gave up two hits and walked four over seven scoreless innings and did not get a decision. "He had great movement [on his pitches]. He had a tremendous night. It's unfortunate we couldn't get a run. It took a no-hitter and a one-hitter to beat Jake."
The lack of offense was unusual, as Arrieta began the night with a Major League-best run-support average of 9.53 per game.
"We've gotten used to winning when he pitches, but it's not going to last forever," Maddon said. "That's the nature of the game. He pitched well enough for us to win tonight, but their pitcher [Scott Kazmir] was really good, too. We one-hitted them last night, they returned the favor tonight."
This was Arrieta's first meeting with the Dodgers since he no-hit them last Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium. Adrian Gonzalez singled with two outs in the first to avoid a repeat of that.
Arrieta and the Cubs were one win shy of setting a Major League record for consecutive wins with one starting pitcher and now share that honor with Kris Medlen and the Braves, who set it in 2010-12.
Arrieta's stats remain impressive. He finished May 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He's 20-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his last 24 starts.
Four Cubs relievers combined to throw seven hitless innings on Monday, but Clayton Richard, Adam Warren and Trevor Cahill couldn't repeat that feat on Tuesday.
"We did it to them last night, and they came out and shut us down tonight," Arrieta said. "It comes down to a couple pitches here and there, a couple at-bats here and there that really decide the game. It was just a situation where we couldn't get much going offensively. We're going to have those nights."
Arrieta's pitch count was manageable when he began the seventh inning, and he retired the first two batters before walking three in a row to load the bases. He then struck out pinch-hitter Justin Turner on three pitches, getting him looking at a 94-mph slider to end the inning. At that point he'd thrown 107 pitches, and that was enough.
"I was able to pitch in and out of a couple situations where it called for it," Arrieta said. "Kazmir threw the ball really nice. ... He came out ready to go and pitched a [heck] of a game."
So did Arrieta.
"He's a perfectionist," Jason Heyward said. "He could have a good game, and next time he could say, 'I could do a little better here and there,' and you see him do that. It's a testament of how well he pitched. He pitched well enough for us to win."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001.
She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.