Arrieta Leads Cubs Over Bucs, 4-0
When it got to be 4-0, most people knew the game was over.
After all, Jake Arrieta had only allowed four runs...since the end of July.
Arrieta continued his late season mastery as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0, in the National League Wild Card game in Pittsburgh Wednesday night.
Arrieta, who won 22 games during the regular season, allowed four hits, no walks, two hit batsmen and struck out ten in a complete game performance.. He threw 113 pitches. The Pirates were 0-11 with runners on base.
The top of the lineup did the damage for the Cubs. Dexter Fowler had three hits including a homer, and scored three runs, and Kyle Schwarber drove in three runs, two on a mammoth home run, for all the runs Arrieta would need.
Fowler singled, stole second and scored on Schwarber's sliced double down the left field line in the first inning to stake the Cubs to an early lead. Fowler singled ahead of Schwarber's homer, which cleared right field into the Allegheny River in the third inning. Fowler then homered for the fourth Cubs run in the fifth. All of the runs came off Pirates' starter Gerrit Cole, who won 19 games for the Bucs during the season
The Pirates' biggest threat against Arrieta came in the sixth, when a single, hit batsman and and an error loaded the bases with one out. But Starling Marte hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
There were some fireworks in the seventh when reliever Tony Watson hit Arrieta with a pitch, possibly in retaliation for the two hit batters earlier. Both benches emptied and there were words exchanged and Pirates' first baseman Sean Rodriguez, who had been lifted for a pinch hitter earlier, was ejected. Both benches were warned by the umpires.
The Cubs will now meet Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals in the best of five NLDS starting Friday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. For Pittsburgh, it's their second straight loss in the wild card game, both by shutouts.