By Sam Bush
The Phillies offense figures to score a lot of runs this season thanks to the addition of Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and the maturation of Rhys Hoskins.
But it will mean nothing of they can’t get quality pitching.
And yesterday, their No. 2 starter looked like he has taken a step back from 2018.
Jake Arrieta gave up five runs, six hits and walked three over 3 1/3 innings of an 11-2 loss to the Pirates.
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.”
Arrieta 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.”