(CBS) Ever a student of the game, Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta has a good understanding for why his ERA has risen to 5.44 this season.
Arrieta has seen his mechanics lose form from his 2015 Cy Young season. He’s working hard to bring his throwing motion back to where it needs to be, a detailed process behind the scenes.
Speaking Wednesday in his regular appearance with the Bernstein & Goff Show, Arrieta elaborated on the mechanics of his motion.
“Right now, I’m battling with it more so than I’d like,” Arrieta said. “It’s just kind of something that I’m going through. I’m preparing for that right now. I got a side session (Wednesday). It really was a lot better. My arm action after I break my hands was a lot closer to where it needs to be.
“Sometimes, when I break my hands, I kind of go too far behind my body, and what that will do, wherever my right arm’s going to go, my left arm’s going to go. So, basically, I was going too far behind my body, which was turning my left shoulder and changing my line basically directly at a right-handed hitter. And then I was having to overcompensate, rotate laterally to get back on line. And the room for error there is so small.
“So just trying to even out the shoulders and get back on line. I wasn’t too far off from where I would like to be my last start. It’s just a continuous process, trying to work through it, trying find that comfort zone and go from there. That’s kind of where I’m at. I feel pretty good about where I’m at.
“Another thing is, I feel like all the mistakes I’m making are getting hit. They’re not going at somebody; they’re either for a double or going over the wall. It’s kind of one of those time periods.”
Arrieta won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award for a historic season in which he posted a record of 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA. Last year, he was 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA. In 2017, he’s 4-3 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts.
In his last outing, Arrieta surrendered four earned runs over six innings in a 5-0 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday in St. Louis. Cubs manager Joe Maddon believed that was Arrieta’s best start in a while.
Arrieta will look to regain his form in his next start, which is expected to be this weekend against the Brewers at Wrigley Field.