After another short and inconsistent outing, Jake Arrieta took the fall for today's Orioles loss to the Dodgers. He could not hold a 4-1 lead or get a single out in the fifth as he walked five and allowed five runs in four innings plus four batters.
"Really feel like the Dodgers didn't beat us today, I beat us," Arrieta said. "Put us in a tough situation. Not giving up many hits at all, but making their job easier by putting them on base for free. It's unacceptable. It's not something I ever expected of myself. It's just bad.
"If you watch the first couple of innings, there is no reason I'm not pitching in the eighth today. That is frustrating and using the bullpen too much is frustrating. I don't want to beat myself up too much about it, but I will today. Got to clean it up."
Arrieta has now had outings of five, five, five and four innings and has an ERA of 6.63 with 16 walks over 19 innings.
How does he find the answer to turn his struggles around?
"It's continuous work and that is what I am doing. Day in and day out here. Just always trying to make improvements," he said. "I improved on my walk totals last year. Honestly, this isn't me. This really isn't something I've ever done at this rate.
"That is where the frustration comes, not only for myself, but for my team. When they get three runs in the first, just have to put my foot on their throat and throw the ball like I am capable of. Not doing that consistently, is not good."
Arrieta had a one-word answer when asked if feels like he has pitched well enough to stay in the rotation?
Arrieta was relayed a quote from Buck Showalter after today's game where he said "emotions affect mechanics." He said you have to be able to keep those under control.
"For me, I get on myself pretty hard," Arrieta said. "If I can do that and wipe the slate clean and start fresh, then it's OK. But when the emotion builds during an inning and I let it kind of aggravate me and get to me, that's a negative.
"From that perspective, he is right about that. When I get hard on myself, most of the time I can take a deep breath, get back on the rubber and go. Wasn't able to do that (today). Lost feel. It wasn't good, it wasn't good."
There are certainly signs that he can be a good big league pitcher, like the first two innings today when he quickly mowed down the Dodgers in 23 pitches.
"For me, it's not really a glimmer, it's being so close and tasting it and knowing that it's there. That is where the frustration comes in, I'm so close to being so good and everybody knows it," Arrieta said. "That is frustrating, but it's not going to keep me down and I'm continuing to work at it. Get to where I'm going to go.
"Pitching well and not giving up many hits with high strikeout totals, but having all that with the walks is what is really hurting me. Once I get that figured out, which is going to be soon, we are going to be all right."