Thanks in large part to the offense of Corey Seager and emergence of Yasmani Grandal, the Los Angeles Dodgers secured a Game 4 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series. Rich Hill threw six scoreless frames in the most important outing of his career, while Jake Arrieta stumbled.
The start at Dodger Stadium was Arrieta’s first since he no-hit the Dodgers in August 2015. This season, he held them scoreless at Wrigley Field over seven innings.
Arrieta gave up an RBI single to Corey Seager in the third inning of Game 3, putting further strain on what’s been a lethargic Cubs offense. Yasmani Grandal added a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and Justin Turner’s lead off home run knocked Arrieta out of the game in the sixth.
Rich Hill turned in six scoreless frames, surviving a 30-pitch second inning in which the Cubs had multiple runners reach base via walk.
The Cubs face what many would call a must-win game heading into Game 4, as the Dodgers are in position to seize control of the NLCS.
Arrieta expressed the expected confidence in the Cubs, but also took it a step further by adding he’s willing to pitch Wednesday, via Steve Greenberg of the Chicago SunTimes:
“I like our chances,” he said. “I’ll pitch again. If I’m needed, if a game is on the line, I’ll be available. [Wednesday], the next day, whenever.”
Despite his willingness to do so, it was impossible to envision Arrieta back on the mound in a non-elimination game one night after a start. Even when taking into account the right-hander only threw 83 pitches.
While the Cubs did their part to take control of the NLCS, the onus now falls on the Dodgers to make Arrieta’s words a reality. He would start opposite Rich Hill on Sunday in winner-take-all Game 7.