Legends On Deck

NL Wild Card Showdown: Arrieta Dominates In Cubs 4-0 Win Over Bucs


Jake Arrieta dominates in 4-0 CG shutout of Pirates. (JARED WICKERHAM/GETTY IMAGES)

The Chicago Cubs are living the dream in 2015, as they advanced to the NLDS after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 at PNC Park on Wednesday.

The Cubs sent their Ace Jake Arrieta to the mound and one thing is for sure, the righty proved that he is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, as he dominated the Wild Card match-up from start to finish.

Arrieta came into the game having won 22 games in the regular season, which tied him for 37th place on the all-time single season wins for a Cubs starters.

In the top of the first, Chicago gave their Ace an early lead when Dexter Fowler led off the game with a line drive single and scored on a line drive single by Kyle Schwarber.

In the bottom half of the inning, Arrieta worked around a two out single by Andrew McCutchen and struck out Starling Marte to end the inning.

In the second, Pirates starter Gerrit Cole settled down and retired the Cubs in order. The Cubs righty did his part by keeping the Pirates off the bases, as he retired the side in order.

The Cubs added to their 1-0 lead in the third when Fowler hit his second straight single and scored on Schwarber’s two run shot over the right field wall to extend the lead to 3-0. In the fifth, Fowler was the star again hitting a bomb over the right center field wall to put the Cubs up 4-0.

As for Arrieta, he just kept shutting down the Pirates by retiring 10 straight batters from the second to the fourth before he hit Francisco Cervelli in the top of the fifth. But a fly out and two straight strike outs, ended the inning.

In the sixth, the Pirates replaced Cole with Antonio Bastardo and he retired the Cubs in order with two strikeouts. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bucs managed to load the bases, but an inning ending double play denied Pittsburgh of scoring their first run of the game.

Tempers would flare up in the seventh, with two outs and Arrieta at the plate, as relief pitcher Tony Watson hit the Cubs Ace on the left hip, clearing both benches and bullpens.  The apparent retaliation was for the Pirates being hit twice by Arrieta. Both benches were warned and after a short delay, the game resumed and Fowler flied out to end the inning.

Benches cleared

Benches clear after Jake Arrieta is hit by a pitch. (JARED WICKERHAM/GETTY IMAGES)

In the bottom of the seventh, Arrieta showed no signs of wear and tear as he induced another inning ending double play started by Cubs rookie phenom Kris Bryant.

The Pirates sent Joakim Soria to the mound to relieve Watson and after a lead-off walk from Chris Denorfia, Soria struck out the next three batters.

The story of the night had to be the dominance of Arrieta, as tossed a complete game shutout in one of the biggest games in Cubs history, while throwing nine innings, allowing just four hits, walking none, and striking out 11.

The Cubs were given exactly what they expected, an amazing performance by their Ace and just enough hitting to advance to the next round.

On Friday their quest to winning the World Series continues as they face the Cardinals in Game One of the National League Division Series in St. Louis.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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