It's no secret the Chicago Cubs will look to fortify their rotation this offseason through every avenue available, but Jake Arrieta reiterated he still welcomes the challenge of being the ace of their staff if that’s placed upon him.
Arrieta, who moved to the forefront of the rotation following the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last month, knows he’ll face tough tests similar to the one that the Milwaukee Brewers gave him Monday night in a 3-1 loss.
Arrieta retired 13 consecutive batters at one point, but Khris Davis hit a double with two out in the seventh inning to snap a 1-1 tie and hand Arrieta (6-4) his second consecutive loss despite allowing only five hits.
“Our schedule will be a tough one from here on out, but we’ll be ready for it,” Arrieta said.
The loss was Arrieta’s first at Wrigley Field since Sept. 7, 2013 -- also to the Brewers. Nevertheless, he could fit well as a top of the rotation starter partly because of his 1.94 lifetime ERA in eight starts at Wrigley.
“It’s something that’s very important for our ballclub and for every ballclub,” Arrieta said.
“There’s a lot of responsibility there, but it’s a position that I’m confident to be in and comfortable to be in. I just have to continue to work hard and do anything and everything possible to continue to make strides.
“If I’m able to do that, I’ll be in that position for quite a while.”
Unfortunately for Arrieta, he watched Mark Reynolds’ home run in the second that would have landed on Waveland Avenue had it not been for a spectacular catch by a fan standing on the top row of the bleachers.
“I talked to Mark on first (base) and said, 'you got to do me like that?' Come on,'" Arrieta said.
“Good catch by the fan, good swing by Mark. I had a pretty good idea he'd be swinging there with a fastball. It leaked back to the inner-third (of the plate), and that’s what he likes.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun