There seemed to be a theme in the postgame questions tonight, and it was about Jake Arrieta. He pitched a game where he allowed just one run on three hits, but again his pitch count was high and he needed 112 pitches to get through five innings and the first batter of the sixth.
“He battled,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “He didn’t have his best command, but he was able to pound the zone enough to make some pitches when he needed to. We’d like to throw more strikes and get ahead of more hitters, but sometimes you don’t have your command that night and you have to go with what you’ve got.
“He’s got great stuff and when he can let it play for itself and start balls middle and let them work to corners and break down in the dirt, that is when he is at his best.”
Arrieta walked five and fanned seven in picking up his first win of the season.
“We know how good he can be and I think that is why you get all these questions (about him not getting deep in games). He’s striving to get better and everybody here is striving to get him better. Big thing is getting the win,” Wieters said.
Wieters’ solo homer in the second was his first homer since the first inning of the first game. He entered batting .200.
“Anytime you get a hit it’s good,” Wieters said. “It wasn’t the best road trip swinging the bat so it was nice to get a hit there early.”
Wieters was asked about his struggles against right-handed pitching. He was just 4-for-30 at game time.
“It’s something that through a season you will have good times and bad times. Like I said, we’ll keep working. It’s a long year and there will be a lot of ups and downs,” Wieters said.
Wieters now has 12 homers, his most against any opponent. The Yankees come in second there, as he has hit 10 against New York.
Arrieta talked about his outing, which began with a homer by Desmond Jennings.
“It started out rough, a homer on the first pitch. He was sitting fastball and hit 94 down and in,” Arrieta said. “They battled and I had to do the same. I was a tick off with command tonight. Battled myself a little bit but found a way to get big strikeouts in key situations. I didn’t establish my breaking ball and slider early enough in the game and tried to force it a bit here and there.”
Arrieta was asked if he would take getting a win the most from this outing or if he was concerned by not getting deeper into the game.
“I’m really not worried about that,” he said. “The win is the biggest part of the night. Would have liked to be out there longer, but the pitch count got up. They stuck with me in the sixth and I wasn’t able to command the ball then. May have run out of gas a little there, but I still had some left in the tank.
“There are still things I can improve on to go deeper into the game. Force contact earlier. But if I am in a situation where strikeouts are available, I’m going to go for it and keep guys from putting good swings on the ball.”