Arrieta's Cubs debut impressive


CHICAGO -- About the only thing that went wrong with new Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta's debut on Tuesday occurred at the plate and not on the mound.

After a swing and miss his bat went flying into the stands but the Wrigley Field faithful will forgive him after a six-inning, one-run performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

“I think I showed them a lot of things they wanted to see,” Arrieta said after the Cubs' 3-2 loss. “I want to continue to get better at some things and work my way back up here.”

Arrieta is one and done, added to the roster just to pitch in the nightcap of the doubleheader. He’s headed back down to Triple-A Iowa but not before turning some heads. He was acquired for Scott Feldman earlier this month in a deal that’s already made an impact at the major league level.

“I could have been a little more efficient early in the game but overall it was good,” he said.

Arrieta stuck with his bread-and-butter pitch for most of the night as he threw 69 fastballs of 93 overall tosses. According to ESPN Stats & Information his fastball averaged 94.4 mph, tied for the second-fastest on his young career. He threw first-pitch strikes to only eight of 23 batters, feeling like he lacked efficiency early. He walked the leadoff man to start the game.

“First-game jitters there,” Arrieta explained. “I got it under control after that point and able to command the ball pretty well.”

He didn’t throw his curveball or slider that often but when he did it was effective. Hitters were 0-for-6 in at-bats that ended with either of those breaking pitches.

Arrieta said a change of scenery should do him good and he already feels part of the young Cubs team. His two hits and one run tell his story.

His location on a fastball to Juan Francisco was his lone mistake -- besides the bat throwing.

“(I’ll) try to throw a few less bats into the stands from this point on,” Arrieta joked.