For Jake Arrieta, Monday’s start was more of the same. The righty surrendered five earned runs on 10 hits hits over 4 2/3 innings pitched. The lone bright spot was that he only handed out one free pass, an intentional walk to Prince Fielder in the bottom of the fifth.
You look at Arrieta’s stuff and wonder why he hasn’t blossomed into the starter the Orioles hoped he would by the point in his career. Tuesday he worked his fastball 94-95 MPH, mixed in a sinker at 95-96, threw his changeup and slider at 88 and curveball at 81.
Arrieta continues to miss his spots and he won’t blame his mechanics for the mistakes. If you simply look at the strikezone plot, you’ll see just how ineffective he is above the lower third of the zone.
Of the ten hits he surrendered, only one was thrown below that bottom third line drawn in the plot above. He forced a double play, two groundouts and a strikeout when he kept the ball below that magic line.
And well, you can see what happens when he keeps the ball up.
The Orioles optioned Arrieta back to Norfolk to make room for Zach Britton. If I were in charge (and good thing I’m not), I’d have the O’s pitchers running laps every time they threw anything up in the zone — especially against Miguel Cabrera.