Can Jake Arrieta end his struggles tonight? (updated)

Well, that bullpen stint for Jake Arrieta didn’t last very long. With Brian Matusz’s start pushed back to Friday, Arrieta will get the ball tonight, five days since his last outing when he gave up a career-high nine runs over four innings at home against Philadelphia.

Here are the recent numbers on Arrieta:

*He has an ERA of 13.15 over his past three starts.

*Opponents are batting .328 against him in that stretch and he has pitched just 13 innings in three starts.

*Over his last seven starts, his ERA is 9.34 and he has given up four runs or more in six of those outings and 52 hits over 35 2/3.

*The Orioles are 4-9 in his 13 starts this year and he has allowed four runs or more in 10 of the outings. He had an ERA of just 2.66 over his first three starts, but his ERA has risen to 6.32 as he gets ready to pitch tonight.

But Arrieta is facing a team that has struggled on the year to produce offense. Despite a 32-28 record, the Pittsburgh Pirates rank 29th and next to last in the majors in team batting average at .225 and they are last in runs scored and team OPS.

Arrieta didn’t find out he was starting until he got to the ballpark today. Maybe he didn’t have any time to think too much about this outing tonight.

He gets another shot to show his stuff coming up at 7:05.

Good start for him: Arrieta has a 3-0 lead after the top of the third inning tonight. He’s allowed two hits with six strikeouts so far. He fanned two in the first, three in the second and one in the third against the club that has the sixth most strikeouts in the majors.

The Orioles have not been scoring many runs for him and his 3.53 runs of support per game coming into this start rated as the fifth worst among AL starters. The Orioles had scored just 21 runs while he was in the game over his past 11 starts, but they’ve given him three early runs tonight.

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