Philadelphia Phillies: Jake Arrieta finally coming around for team

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 19: Jake Arrieta /

Not only did the Philadelphia Phillies come through with a big 7-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, but Jake Arrieta displayed his best performance since joining the team.

When considering the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t sign Jake Arrieta until the middle of March, Gabe Kapler and company entered the 2018 season with the mindset that it may take some time for the veteran pitcher to catch up. Unfortunately, Arrieta was at a slight disadvantage compared to the rest of his teammates since he missed out on most of spring training, but Thursday’s big win against the Pittsburgh Pirates was the perfect example of why he was worth signing last month.

Luckily, the Pirates are a team that Arrieta has become quite familiar with over the years since they play in the same division as the Chicago Cubs, and without question, Thursday was the veteran’s best outing in three starts this season. After combining for six strikeouts and four earned runs during his first two outings for the Phillies, Arrieta was lights out against the Pirates by tossing 10 strikeouts in seven innings without allowing a single run.

Even better, Arrieta looked like his old self against Pittsburgh by throwing 97 pitches, which has to make Philadelphia feel even more amazing about their situation moving forward. For a rotation that was already on the rise led by Aaron Nola, there’s a reason why many believed the addition of Arrieta would help the Phillies reach a whole new competitive level.

Assuming Arrieta continues to display more performances like the one against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia is going to be an interesting team to keep an eye on over the next couple of months if they continue to play like they have as of late. After starting the year by losing four of their first five games, the Phillies are currently tied for second place in the NL East at the moment with the Atlanta Braves at 11-7.

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Obviously, the true test will be whether Philadelphia can continue playing this well over the next couple of months since it’s only April, and they still have a long way to go, but at least players like Arrieta provide this team with some excitement. For a team that has finished at the bottom of the division in three of the last four seasons, Arrieta and the Phillies should just be happy for even being in this position at the end of April when it comes to the NL East standings.