Arrieta bounces back, Phils win 5th straight – MLB.com

Jake Arrieta found some redemption at Citi Field on Friday night.
Arrieta enjoyed an encouraging bounceback in a 5-3 victory over the Mets. Encouraging, because he allowed two runs in seven innings after suffering the worst start of his career on Sunday against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park, where he

Jake Arrieta found some redemption at Citi Field on Friday night.

Arrieta enjoyed an encouraging bounceback in a 5-3 victory over the Mets. Encouraging, because he allowed two runs in seven innings after suffering the worst start of his career on Sunday against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park, where he allowed seven runs in a career-low 1 1/3 innings. Encouraging, because the Phillies hope to see this version of Arrieta more frequently as they try to make the postseason for the first time since 2011.

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“When you falter and have a tough outing like I did, it makes for a long week,” Arrieta said. “You want to do everything you can to make the adjustments, get back on track and throw well for your team the next time you go out there. That was my focus for the past four days. Maintain my direction to the plate and give my stuff a chance.”

This was the first time Arrieta pitched seven innings since May 25, 2019, when he delivered eight in Milwaukee.

“When I start everything that I throw over the white part of the plate, the results are pretty good,” he said.

Factoring Sunday’s outing as an outlier, Arrieta has a 3.94 ERA in his other six starts. He has pitched six or more innings only twice, but the Phillies can still win, because they have one of the best offenses in baseball.

Arrieta said last Sunday, less than 24 hours before the Trade Deadline, that he thought the Phillies had everything they needed to make the postseason. They got right-hander David Phelps the following afternoon to upgrade the bullpen. The Phillies have not lost since Sunday, winning five straight and 10 of their last 11. They are now 19-15, two games behind the Braves in the National League East.

“This is absolutely a team that can contend deep into the playoffs,” Arrieta said. “There’s no question about it. Once you get into October, you want to roll the dice and see what happens. But we have that group. A team that I was a part of in Chicago several years ago [the 2016 World Series champion Cubs] … had all these young guys come to the big leagues and perform and outperform their expectations at such a young age.

“This is the ultimate team game. You can’t win the game by yourself, so it’s going to take a collective effort each and every night, and that’s what we’ve been able to do these past couple weeks.”

On Friday, Arrieta allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out seven. He put the first two batters he faced in the first inning on base, but retired eight of the next nine.

“Not worrying about it,” he said. “Understanding and knowing that I have the ability to make enough quality pitches in a row, whether it’s first and second nobody out, I have the ability to get out of that situation unscathed. I did that a couple times tonight. Our defense was great. It’s been amazing.”

Arrieta allowed a two-run home run to Michael Conforto in the fifth to tie the score at 2. Dominic Smith hit a leadoff single in the sixth, but Robinson Canó grounded into a double play. It was the ninth time Arrieta got a batter to ground into a double play this season, tying him with teammate Zack Wheeler for the second most in baseball.

He finished that inning with a season-high 91 pitches, then the Phillies took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Roman Quinn’s single scored Phil Gosselin.

Manager Joe Girardi sent Arrieta to pitch the seventh.

“I just kind of liked what he had done with that portion of the lineup,” Girardi said about Jeff McNeil and Wilson Ramos, the first two hitters in the seventh. “Now, if he didn’t get the first two guys out, he was not going to face [Andrés] Giménez, but I still thought he was throwing the ball well. McNeil is a tough out, but I thought he did a good job on him tonight. That’s what I sent him back out.”

Arrieta rewarded his manager, pitching a clean seventh on only 11 pitches.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .

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