Manager Buck Showalter confirmed after tonight's 8-3 win over the Pirates that Jake Arrieta's removal from the game wasn't due to a health issue. Arrieta is fine physically.
I can't blame anyone for wondering, given what we witnessed in the Nationals series.
Arrieta's command and the heat were the issues. That's why he was done after five innings and 87 pitches.
"He's capable of better," Showalter told reporters during his postgame press conference that aired on MASN, "but it was a hot, sticky night."
Showalter said he spoke to pitching coach Rick Adair about having Arrieta change his shirt after the second inning because it was soaked.
"What I liked about him is he got a W and he gave us five innings," Showalter said.
Also, Showalter said it was "a combination of things" that put third base coach John Russell in the dugout tonight.
Russell's knee is sore again, and Showalter said he wanted him on the bench "to talk about his knowledge of the Pirates a little bit." Russell managed in Pittsburgh for the last three years.