Why Jake Arrieta absolutely loved seeing the Giants-Nationals brawl

Why Jake Arrieta absolutely loved seeing the Giants-Nationals brawl

Count Jake Arrieta among the fans of baseball brawls.

Namely, the San Francisco Giants-Washington Nationals scrap this week as Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland rang in Memorial Day by punching each other's faces.

[RELATED - Kris Bryant's reaction to the Bryce Harper brawl]

Some baseball fans and media have been scolding the two players and teams for brawling, but Arrieta has a completely different stance.

"I thought it was awesome," Arrieta said Tuesday on 670 The Score. "Every once in a while, it's refreshing to see two teams emotionally charged getting after it. And when something like that happens vs. continuing to chirp about it, why don't you go out there and see somebody?"

The brawl was not without casualties, however, as Harper was suspended for four games and Strickland for six. Giants first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse also hit the disabled list with a concussion suffered when he and Jeff Samardzija ran into each other in the midst of the brawl:

"I'm pretty sure Harper was lucky that they collided because Samardzija was coming in to do some damage," Arrieta said of his former teammate

Arrieta actually said he's all for brawls in baseball and would rather see two guys come to blows than just stand there and "chirp" at each other.

The 31-year-old pitcher has never had a hitter charge him on the mound, but if it did happen, he actually would prefer if his teammates stayed out of things for a moment or two.

"If it's my catcher, I want him to wait and give me an opportunity to do a little damage," Arrieta said. "I don't want it broken up right away. If it happens, I'll let you know. I'll be ready. You know, I like my chances toe to toe with just about anybody.

"I know Willson [Contreras] would probably beat whoever charges the mound to the mound, but I'll tell him and Miggy [Montero], 'Hey, give me 10-15 seconds to get some work in and then come out and see me."

Arrieta stands 6-foot-4 with 225 pounds of pure muscle as one of the most well-conditioned athletes in the world. I would not be betting against him if any hitter decided to "come out and see him" on the mound.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Jon Lester saw a start like this coming

Jon Lester saw a start like this coming

Jon Lester had easily his worst outing of the year, allowing the Cardinals to score eight runs on seven hits, the veteran All-Star only managed three innings before Joe Maddon turned to his bullpen. 

The Cardinals would take game two of the series by the score of 18 to 5, and while none of the Cubs pitchers could silence the Cardinal bats, Lester didn't shy away from his poor outing. 

"You know, I don't want to chalk this up as bad days happen," said Lester. "I think mechanically this has kinda been coming." 

Lester knew he was struggling to hit his spots, and while his ERA was a sparkling 2.58 coming into this start, his peripheral stats had him pegged as a potential regression candidate in the second half of the season.

His 4.35 FIP and 3.30 walks per nine innings show a pitcher who is relying heavily on his defense to get outs, which isn't surprising for a 33-year-old veteran but the walks are a concern. 

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was aware Lester had been working on his mechanics, but even he was surprised that Lester's start went downhill so quickly. 

"I thought he had good stuff to start the game, hitting [92-93 mph] and I'm thinking this might be a good day," said Maddon. "But you could just see from the beginning he was off just a little bit." 

Over Lester's last four starts his ERA has been an uncharacteristic 4.57, issuing 10 walks over those four starts, and only making it past the 6th inning once. At this point of Lester's career, he knows the best way for him to get outs isn't through strikeouts but by inducing soft contact and avoiding walks. 

And while both his hard contact rate and walks have increased this season, Lester's experience and high baseball I.Q. has allowed him to navigate his way through sticky situations. 

"I've been getting outs," Lester said candidly. "I just feel like when I've had that strikeout or I have a guy set up for that pitch I haven't been able to execute it." 

And while this outing was one to forget, it's at least a positive sign that Lester is aware of his issues on the mound. The veteran knows how to get outs and he knows what he needs to do to be successful in the latter part of his career. He just needs to get back to executing those pitches. 

Just don't expect Lester to dive head first into the analytics on how to fix his issues, he'll stick to hard work and baseball common sense. 

"I'm not too concerned with the analytic B.S., I'm worried about my mechanical fix for my next start."