SAN DIEGO — Jake Arrieta has no qualms with Terry Collins’ decision to make Johnny Cueto the National League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game.
Had he pitched better of late, the Cubs ace said Monday he thinks he would might have deserved the nod when the NL faces the American League at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Petco Park. But given his recent performance, Arrieta thinks the Mets manager made the right call in tabbing Cueto as his starter.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a disappointment,” Arrieta said. “I’m realistic. My last three starts were poor.
“Cueto has been terrific, and if I take care of business the last three I probably start. But he’s very well-deserving, and Collins had a tough decision to make and he made a good one.”
It would be hard to argue against it had Collins chosen to start Arrieta.
Through 18 starts, the 2015 NL Cy Young winner has thrown a no-hitter and he’s 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA. But Arrieta also has struggled in his last three turns, producing an 8.27 ERA with 15 earned runs allowed in 16 1/3 innings.
Cueto enters the break 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA and a major league leading four complete games and 131 1/3 innings. Collins said his decision was in part influenced by Cueto’s brilliant, complete-game victory in Game 2 of the 2015 World Series for the Kansas City Royals over the Mets.
“We had a tremendous group of starting pitchers in the National League this year,” Collins said. “When we were sitting and talking about who we might start in the All-Star Game we had five very, very qualified guys, and as it got closer and closer and closer he just continued to dominate the league, so I thought he was the right choice.”