Well, it has now probably gone beyond frustrating. Maybe it’s reaching the exasperation point for the fans, the players and Jake Arrieta himself.
His inconsistency was on display again today against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He retired the game’s first six batters on 23 pitches. At that point, ESPN’s Buster Olney posted this on Twitter:
“You watch Jake Arrieta dominate hitters the way he did in the first inning against LAD and you understand why O’s think he’s capable of more”
But just as quickly as it came, it went.
Arrieta needed 37 pitches to escape the third inning, allowing just one run when he struck out Matt Kemp with the bases loaded to end that major threat.
He then pitched a 1-2-3 fourth on just 15 pitches.
But then came the top of the fifth. Taking the mound with a 4-1 lead, he walked the No. 8 hitter, Skip Schumaker, on four pitches and then hit No. 9 batter Justin Sellers. A four-pitch walk to Carl Crawford followed, loading the bases and a two-run single by Mark Ellis ended Arrieta’s outing as T.J. McFarland came on to pitch.
This was a day Arrieta needed to pitch the Orioles to a sweep of the Dodgers with a 4-1 lead, but he just couldn’t do it.
Is time running out for Arrieta find the consistency he’ll need to stay in the rotation?