It was a Throwback Thursday game at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night and Jake Arrieta turned back the clock to his Cy Young season of 2015.
Arrieta, signed by the Phillies in mid-March to be a veteran presence and a top-of-the-rotation starter, threw seven innings of one-hit ball as the Phillies pounded the Pirates, 7-0, in the opening game of a 10-game homestand that could give an indication of whether the Phillies could be a contender this year.
More starts like Arrieta provided on Thursday could certainly stamp the Phillies as a team capable of competing for a playoff spot.
I knew I’d be pretty crisp in the bullpen when I had my sinker glove-side going early, said Arrieta, who was making his third start of the season. To be able to do that three starts in was a good sign. Combined with spring training it was only five or six starts, I was a little behind. Now I’m caught up.
Other than being able to locate the changeup a little better, that was as good as I’ve been.
The Phillies provided Arrieta with all the runs he would need in a five-run second inning where they sent 10 men to the plate. Rhys Hoskins started the inning with a home run and Cesar Hernandez added a rare 3-run single as J.P. Crawford – running on the pitch – scored on a hit into the right-center field gap.
The Phillies went ahead 5-0 and never looked back.
As part of the Throwback Thursday promotion, the Phillies wore the powder blue uniforms from the 1970s when they won the National League East three straight years and four out of five.
Arrieta provided encouragement the Phillies could be headed back to the postseason.
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