Jake Arrieta (P/Chicago Cubs) – For only pitching one game in the past week, Arrieta’s name has been tossed around quite a bit since our last update.
First, there was the actual game he played in. On April 15, the Cubs faced the Pirates in Chicago. Arrieta pitched a little over 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, including 2 home runs. He walked 1 and struck out 5. The game was a slug fest, with a total 6 home runs hit by the two teams (2 for the Cubs, 4 for the Pirates). The Cubs were ahead until the 7th inning, when the Pirates hit 2 of their home runs. The game ended in an 8-7 loss for the Cubs.
Additionally, with all the talk surrounding performance enhancing drugs right now, an article was written by the Chicago Sun Times that focused on Arrieta’s response to frequent testing and rumors by opposing teams. In the article, Arrieta mentions that he was tested the day he faced the Pirates, and he was tested 2 weeks prior to that as well. On the contrary, his teammate Anthony Rizzo has yet to be tested once. While it definitely makes you wonder if Arrieta has a bit of a target on his back, he makes it clear that he takes no issue with it.
The funny thing is, there are people who are also questioning his dip in velocity right now, which I find incredibly ironic if he’s being target-tested for steroids. If his velocity is so bad, why is still being tested? And if he really does have a legit velocity issue, why are you worried about him using ‘roids? Seriously, y’all, just let him throw the darn ball.
Interesting to see Jake Arrieta's velocity slowly drop on his pitches as the game is progressing pic.twitter.com/6JWuR7sRgb— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 15, 2017
Finally, there’s word that Jake may be offered a contract extension soon, so obviously the Cubs aren’t worried about him using PEDs or his velocity.
All of this news and only one game pitched this week. Keep your head up, Jake. They wouldn’t be interested if you they didn’t see you as a threat.
Arrieta currently has a 2.89 ERA and a .91 WHIP. He’s expected to pitch this Saturday at Cincinnati. Check out all of Arrieta’s stats here this season.
Matt Carpenter (3B/St. Louis Cardinals) – Carpenter traveled to face the Nationals on April 10. He hit a single to center in the top of the 5th and was brought home by Yadier Molina. He hit a single to right in the top of the 7th to get on base, but he was out on a subsequent double play. The Cardinals lost with in embarrassing 14-6 whooping.
Carpenter was a pinch hitter on April 11 in Game 2 of the series against the Nationals. He walked in the top of the 9th but was out at second. The Cardinals lost 8-3.
In Game 3 against the Nationals on April 12, Carpenter was back in the lineup and hit a sac fly in the top of the 5th to bring in Fryer and put the Cardinals up 3-0. Later in the top of the 9th, he was walked and then brought in on a 3-run homer by Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals finally seemed to have Washington’s number and won 6-1.
The Cardinals traveled to New York for a 3-game series against the Yankees starting April 14. Game 1 saw Carpenter’s first run of the season. It happened in the very first inning and traveled 421 feet to bring in Diaz and give the Cards an early 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Cards couldn’t keep it and lost 4-3.
Game 2 on April 15 saw Carpenter as a designated hitter. He had a single, a ground out, and struck out twice in four at-bats. The Cardinals lost 3-2.
The final game of the series on April 16 had Carpenter back at first base. He walked in the first inning and had a fly out and ground out later in a game that would prove tough for the Cardinals. They lost 9-3 before heading home to St. Louis. Unfortunately, during that game, Carpenter took a ball to the finger while in the field.
This caused Carpenter to miss the first two games back home against the Pirates.
After two days of rest, Carpenter returned to play first base on April 19 in Game 3 against the Pirates. While fans got pretty upset with him when he got picked off at first in the bottom of the 5th for the third out of the inning. They were even more upset when he made an error in the 8th when he allowed Cervelli to be safe on first. But then Gregory Polanco hit a grounder in the top of the 8th and Carpenter made a diving catch and slide into first, beating Polanco the bag for the final out of the inning. That definitely redeemed him in the eyes of the fans, and I’m pretty sure he surprised himself, too. The Cardinals went on to sweep the series against the Pirates with a final score of 2-1.
On April 20, the Cardinals played in Milwaukee. Carpenter hit a single in the top of the 3rd but got caught stealing second. He made up for it in the top of the 5th by hitting a 427-foot home run to put the Cards up 4-3. They couldn’t hold the lead and lost 7-5.
MATT CARPENTER BOMB!! 4-3!! pic.twitter.com/YVhDHwPJsv— Cards Nation (@CardsNation13) April 21, 2017
Carpenter even got a huge compliment when Pete Rose said Carpenter is one of his favorites.
Carpenter has been busy off the field, as well, with a great interview about how he stayed motivated as a Horned Frog while recovering from Tommy John syndrome.
And if you’re in the St. Louis area, be sure and grab your ticket to the annual It’s In The Cards fundraiser to support the Thompson Center for Autism on April 30. Matt will be making a special appearance!
Carpenter currently has 11 hits, 7 runs, and 5 RBIs, including 2 home runs. He has a .244 AVG. His next game is tonight against the Brewers. For all the stats during Carpenter's 2017 season, click here.
Andrew Cashner (P/Texas Rangers) – Cashner made his first start this season in the Texas uniform on April 15 in Seattle. In just over 5 innings, he allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits. He struck out 2 and walked 3. The Rangers lost 5-0.
On April 20, Cashner made his first start at home, and what a debut it was! He pitched through 6 innings and allowed just 3 hits. He kept the Royals scoreless and picked off Mike Moustakas at second with an amazing throw in the top of the 1st inning. He walked 4 and struck out 3. The Rangers won 1-0 on a walk off after 13 innings.
Fun fact: Andrew Cashner had his first start today in his homestate of Texas.— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) April 21, 2017
Funner fact: He pitched a shutout through 6. pic.twitter.com/Ku1VlErQkU
I’m so glad to see these stats for last night’s game. Cashner had the debut he needed and deserved in Arlington. Hopefully this boosts his confidence and he can be someone the Rangers can really depend on this season. Now if ESPN would just update his photo.....
Cashner currently has an ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 1.32. He’s scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Twins.
For more of Cashner's stats, click here.
Stefan Crichton (P/Baltimore Orioles) — Welcome to FITP, Stefan! Crichton was optioned to Baltimore’s AAA team in Norfolk on April 15, but was called back up on the 16th to replace Zach Britton, the team’s star closer. His first MLB game was on April 16 in Toronto. He came in at the bottom of the 7th. Baltimore was ahead 6-0. Crichton allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 1 2⁄3 innings pitched. He struck out 2. The Orioles won the game 11-4.
You can follow Crichton this season here.
Brandon Finnegan (P/Cincinnati Reds) – Finnegan pitched on April 10 at Pittsburgh. In 2 innings pitched, he allowed 1 run on 4 hits. He walked 5 and struck out 4. The rest of the bullpen was able to hold off the Pirates (see what I did there?), and the Reds won the game 7-1.
Unreal. The Reds pull Brandon Finnegan after one inning as he can't find the strike zone. Robert Stephenson in now.— Reds Baseball Take (@CincyRedsTake) April 15, 2017
On April 15, Finnegan was home against Milwaukee when he walked the first two batters on just 9 pitches. He allowed 2 runs on 1 hit, with a total of 3 walks and 1 strike out for the inning. He left the game with an injured left shoulder. The Reds went on to win 7-5.
Finnegan currently has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He’s on the disabled list and is expected to be there for awhile due to his injury.
For more on Finnegan's 2017 season, you can go here.