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Frogs in the Pros: April 21-28, 2017

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Things got a little salty this week. And it wasn’t the peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

MLB: Game One-Toronto Blue Jays at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Arrieta (P/Chicago Cubs) – I feel like Arrieta has become such a celebrity in baseball—not that he doesn’t deserve it, but the news about him just doesn’t seem to stop these. Whether it’s mundane stuff, like taking pictures with him out around town, to asking him to check out their kid’s pitching form, Arrieta is the guy some love and the guy others love to hate. In the meantime, Jake just seems to take it all in stride and doesn’t let it faze him.

On April 22, the Cubs were in Cincinnati. Arrieta pitched 6 innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits, including 2 home runs. While 2 home runs seems like a lot, it was nothing compared to the 6 total from both teams during the game. And to make sure we all know he can keep up with the slugfest, he had his 4th career triple in this game in the top of the 5th. That brought Jason Heyward in for a run to make it 8-5 Chicago. The Cubs won the game 12-8.

Of course, the talking heads wanted to stir up drama by reminding everyone that it was a year ago on April 27 when Arrieta publicly shut down Stephen Smith’s insinuations that he was using PEDs. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, Smith had to tuck his tail and go back to his dog house. And no, Stephen doesn’t need everyone to put the “A.” for his middle name every time someone wants to talk about him. It’s lame, Stevie. You are not Ulysses S. Grant or John F. Kennedy. Or Jacob J. Arrieta, for that matter. At this point, everyone thinks the A stands for something other than Anthony anyway. So I’ll leave this here for any of you feeling sentimental. Or feisty.

On April 28, Arrieta pitched in Boston against the Red Sox. Fans had been looking forward to this all week.

It was a rough start, y’all. Arrieta took the mound and allowed 5 runs (including 1 home run) on 10 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 5. Those 5 runs were all in the first inning alone. YIKES. He was able to clean it up and actually held the Red Sox scoreless after that into the 5th inning. The Cubs spent the time entire game playing catch-up but just couldn’t get enough runs. They lost 5-4.

Arrieta currently has a 4.66 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP (ouch). While it’s not officially on the schedule at the time of this article, he should be pitching Wednesday at home against the Phillies. Check out all of Arrieta’s stats here this season.

Matt Carpenter (3B/St. Louis Cardinals) – Carpenter faced the Brewers on April 21 in Milwaukee. He had a double in the top of the 1st but was picked off second. He got on base later in the top of the 7th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice. The Cardinals managed to win the game 6-3.

On April 22, the final game of the series was played in Milwaukee. He was pretty much SOL until the top of the 9th when he hit a single to get on base. He was brought home by Jedd Gyorko, who hit a triple and then ended up scoring on a throwing error. That put the Cardinals up 4-1 and they got the win.

On April 23, Carpenter had an interesting day when the strike zone was apparently expanded to the next state over. In the top of the 7th, Carpenter was called out after a clearly-off-the-plate ball. Carpenter let his feelings be known about the call and was promptly tossed from the game.

Manager Mike Matheny came to his defense and ended up being tossed as well. Fortunately, the Cardinals were already ahead by then and were able to beat the Padres 6-4 to end a long, dramatic series.

Carpenter was suspended one game for apparently invading the umpire’s personal safe place (OK, technically he bumped the ump) in that game, so he didn’t play against the Blue Jays on April 25. The Cardinals clearly missed him, as they lost 6-5.

After weather caused the Cardinals to cancel the game on April 26, the teams met twice on April 27 to battle it out for the series. The first game was at 12:45, and St. Louis was behind 4-0 after 7 innings. With the score at 4-1, Carpenter hit a single to bring in Dexter Fowler in the bottom of the 8th. When a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th tied it, the teams went into extra innings. They stayed tied until the bottom of the 11th, when Carpenter did this:

Yes, folks, that was a walk-off grand slam by our boy. Seems a day of rest did him some good. I guess he should invade umps’ personal spaces more often.

In Game 3 of the series and second game of the day, Carpenter got the Cards on the board early with a ground out to second in the bottom of the first that brought in Fowler. The Cardinals went on to win the game 6-4 and take the series.

The Cardinals were home against the Reds on April 28. Carpenter didn’t have much luck throughout the game. The Cardinals went ahead early, but the Reds were able to come back and make it a close game. The Cards were able to squeak out the win 7-5.

Carpenter currently has 15 hits, 9 runs, and 11 RBIs, including 3 home runs. He has a .238 AVG. His next game is tonight against the Reds. For all the stats during Carpenter's 2017 season, click here.

Andrew Cashner (P/Texas Rangers) – Oh, Cashner. In just his second appearance at home for Rangers (third game this season), Cashner’s consistency issues showed again. After last week’s incredible shutout for 6 innings, he lasted just over 4 innings on April 25 against the Twins. He had a wild pitch in the 3rd, allowed a home run in the 4th, and a home run in the 5th. He totaled 2 runs on 5 hits, while walking 6 and striking out 3. The Rangers lost 8-1. I don’t know what to say anymore. He’s a good pitcher, and I feel like he’s finally back home where he wants to be. But the pitching staff have to figure out how to bring out the consistency that I know is in there somewhere.

Cashner currently has an ERA of 2.92 and a WHIP of 1.70. He’s scheduled to pitch Monday at the Astros.

For more of Cashner's stats, click here.

Stefan Crichton (P/Baltimore Orioles) — Crichton saw his second game with the Orioles on April 23 at home. He came in to pitch at the top of the 7th with the Orioles down 6-0. He allowed 1 run on 4 hits, with no walks or strikeouts. The Orioles lost 6-2.

On April 25, Crichton was optioned back to Norfolk. Hopefully he’ll see more MLB action as the season continues.

You can follow Crichton this season here.

Brandon Finnegan (P/Cincinnati Reds) – Finnegan is still on the DL with his shoulder injury. Since it’s now been 10 days, we’ll see if anything news comes from the clubhouse this week regarding his status.

Finnegan currently has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

For more on Finnegan's 2017 season, you can go here.