#Cubs Arrieta does it all — 11 Ks, SB, starts a fight and a W
In his first postseason game, Jake Arrieta threw a four-hit complete shutout, striking out 11, to lead the Cubs to a 4-0 victory over the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game. Claude Passeau was the last Cubs pitcher to throw a shutout in the postseason, doing so Oct. 5, 1945, in Game 3 of the World Series. But Arrieta topped that.
*Arrieta is the first pitcher in postseason history to throw a shutout while striking out at least 10 and not walking a batter. The previous high was nine Ks, set by Cole Hamels in Game 3 of the 2010 NL Division Series.
*Arrieta’s 11 strikeouts tied the Cubs franchise record, set by Kerry Wood in Game 1 of the 2003 NLDS against the Braves. Wood was at PNC Park on Wednesday to share in the win.
*Arrieta is the 10th pitcher all-time to be hit by a pitch in a postseason game. And, after he was plunked, Arrieta then stole second base. He’s the fifth pitcher all-time — and the first since Cliff Lee in 2009 — to steal a base in the postseason.
It won’t show up on the stats sheets but Arrieta getting plunked also sparked a bench-clearing melee in the seventh. He had hit two Pirates earlier in the game and Pittsburgh’s Tony Watson decided it was time to get even.
“The playoffs,” Arrieta said of why both benches emptied. “There’s a lot at stake. Tempers were running hot, and it is what it is. It’s just the environment. It breeds that kind of intensity and sometimes those things happen.”
This was Arrieta’s sixth start this season against the Pirates.
“They’ve seen Jake a lot and we’ve seen [Gerrit Cole] a lot,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “At the end of the day, it really comes down to execution of pitches in the moment. We were able to get him there.”
— Carrie Muskat