Abysmal stretch continues for Cubs' Jake Arrieta

Arrieta allowed eight runs in a loss Wednesday and hasn't gone more than four innings in his past five starts.

(670 The Score) About all that Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta has while performing these days is his heart and desire to compete.

The once-dominant Arrieta was shelled in the Cubs’ 10-0 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Wednesday evening, going four innings and allowing eight runs, all earned, on 11 hits and two walks while striking out three.

It continued an abysmal stretch for Arrieta, who hasn’t logged more than four innings in any of his past five starts. He has a 6.88 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 20 starts in 2021.

“I go into every start with the mindset that I will have success,” Arrieta said. “That is the only mindset you can have at this level. If you go out there and you are already mentally beat, chances are you are not going to perform well.”

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Arrieta, 35, rejoined the Cubs on a one-year deal in February. He was magnificent pitching for the Cubs from 2013-’17, winning the National League Cy Young award in 2015 and helping lead the team to a World Series title in 2016. Those days are long gone.

"Obviously, the confidence doesn't match the results,” Arrieta said. “That is something I am going to have to deal with. Am I happy about it? No. But being unhappy about it is not going to change the way I move forward and my approach the remainder of the season. This game is extremely difficult, and that is why only 750 to 1,200 players get to put this uniform on every season. If was easy, everybody would do it. Confidence in this game has to be a part of your routine. If it's not, you are not going to be around very long.”

Arrieta hasn't won a game since May 25. He has an 8.35 ERA in 14 starts since the start of May.

“Jake is in a unique spot where he is trying to clean up his year like some of the guys here and finish strong,” Cub manager David Ross said before Arrieta’s outing Wednesday. “He wants to continue his baseball career. But there are moments he should take in at a place he has done some very special things. He has done a phenomenal job of like working with Adbert (Alzolay) and Mike Borzello helping people with pitching. That stuff cannot be understated. He has that type of veteran voice that has World Series rings and has carried the load in some of the greatest moments in this organization’s history.”

Ross admitted that while letting Arrieta work through his struggles to finish his Cubs career strong would be ideal, the many baseball considerations must be taken into the mix. The Cubs are using a six-man rotation for the time being in an effort to give a few young pitchers a starting opportunity but also not overburden them as the team has fallen out of the playoff race.

"Me personally, outside of being the Cubs manager, yeah I would like to give him as much runway as possible,” Ross said. “There are some hard realities in this game that don't always allow that. He believes he can still go out there and get hitters out. I support that for sure.”

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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