Jake Arrieta Doesn’t Think PNC Park’s Atmosphere Will Impact His Performance

PITTSBURGH — Right now, Pirates fans are thinking up a chant for when Jake Arrieta is on the mound in Wednesday’s Wild Card game at PNC Park. That’s a tough assignment, as “Arrieta” has four syllables, and the “Cue-to” style chant from a few years ago won’t work.

Then again, will anything work? Based on his comments in today’s media session, Arrieta doesn’t make it seem like anything will impact him.

“I expect it to be extremely, extremely loud from the get-go,” Arrieta said. “I know the type of loyalty the fans have here. I know how passionate they are about their baseball here, and I wouldn’t expect anything less. I think the noise is something that you just have to deal with. It’s always there in a certain aspect. Obviously tomorrow night is going to be magnified more than most games, but it is expected. It is something that I am comfortable dealing with, and it’s exciting. To be in an atmosphere where you’ve got 40,000, 38,000 plus opposing fans, some Chicago fans are going to be there, obviously, but it makes those moments enjoyable for me.”

Leading up to the game, Arrieta has already become a villain of sorts with his comments on Twitter.

Arrieta was asked about that first thing today, and said that it was all in good fun, and part of the interaction between fans and players.

“It’s kind of the build-up to the game,” Arrieta said. “You’ve got two very passionate fan bases in Pittsburgh, and there is the support of the guys they have here. And obviously, on our side with the fan base, we have fans who are extremely supportive of what we’re trying to accomplish. It is all in good fun. There is nothing meant in a negative aspect there. I think it’s just kind of a unique way to start interaction within the fan bases or with the players and the fans. So it’s something I kind of like to do.”

It makes sense for Arrieta to be confident heading into this game. He had the best second half of any pitcher in history, and has dominated the Pirates with an 0.75 ERA in 36 innings this year over five starts. He noted that he’s comfortable “analyzing, scouting, and pitching against” the Pirates.

“It’s an extremely balanced group of guys in that order who can make a lot of things happen,” Arrieta said. “And I feel confident that I can neutralize a lot of their power, a lot of their speed guys with different sequences. You know, I intend to have some pretty good success tomorrow.”

Sequencing will be a big factor, according to Arrieta. That’s especially the case with a team that he has played twice already in the last three weeks. He noted that might not be an advantage if he can execute his pitches.

“For me, at the end of the day, I feel like if I execute, regardless if I were to use same sequencing as I have in the past against these guys, I still feel confident in my ability to have success,” Arrieta said. “It’s going to come down to who makes the fewest amount of mistakes both on the mound, in the field, on the bases. Because we obviously know that two of the best three teams in baseball are playing for a do-or-die game tomorrow. So it’s going to come down to executing, both on the mound and in the field and on the basepaths.”

Clint Hurdle said today that seeing Arrieta so much adds to their volume of information on the player, but that they just need to find a way to adjust to him versus what they were doing the last few outings.

“What we need to do is find a different way for us to get some things done,” Hurdle said. “We’re well aware of what he’s done, how he’s performed, the pitch sequences, the stuff, how it plays out. He’s been a very competitive pitcher and one of the elite pitchers in the league. So I think more than anything, it reinforces our game plan. We’re going to have to make some adjustments.”

Anything can happen in the Wild Card game, and actions speak louder than words. It’s easy to say that 40,000 fans wearing black and chanting in one of the loudest atmospheres won’t impact you. But actually pitching well and not letting that impact you? That’s much more difficult. Arrieta said that he’s been preparing to pitch in this type of game for a long time, and that he’ll be able to channel the home energy and use it to his advantage. We’ll see how much of that is true tomorrow night.

  • Maybe Jakey won’t be rattled by the crowd, but there are a lot of young guys behind him who have never played in this kind of atmosphere before. Unless he strikes out 27 he’s gonna have to rely on the kids not getting the dropsies and yips.

  • I feel like a man with a beard that solid should bend the bill of his cap. It looks wrong.

  • “Jaayy-key! Jaayy-key! Jaayy-key!” #TheChant

  • Perhaps we are seeing signs of hubris on Arrieta’s part. Nothing will bother him, no one will ever score another run off him, he knows exactly what pitches to throw to get the Pirates out, they may as well leave their bats in the bat rack and the crowd shouldn;t even bother showing up. Maybe he should have a short chat with Clayton Kershaw about how being “invincible” in the regular season doesn’t always equal being unbeatable in the post-season. Or maybe he should have a talk with Jon Lester about what a sure thing it was that Lester and the A’s had the WC game against the Royals all sewn up last year when they were up 7 – 3 and then 8 – 7. Exactly how’d that work out for them? Yes Arrieta has been on an unbelievable roll, and yes this is a very hard challenge for the Pirates, and yes, pride does come before the fall. Does the word “hubris” mean anything to you Jake? Remember the Cubbies are riding a 107 year streak of futility! Cue-to owned the Pirates far more than Arrieta has, so let’s just see. I have a feeling Cutch & the Gang may have a few surprises for you!

    • Or maybe every single baseball player at the top of their craft should say the exact same things Arrieta says and its not unique at all.

      Hubris is all well and good, but every player should be that confident at all times. He just decided to skip the cliches and admit what he’s feeling heading into the game. He might lose, but there is 0 reason for him to feel anything but what he is feeling in the build up to the game.

  • Im prepping my voice for tomorrow. Let’s go bucs!!!!!

  • Honestly, if there’s going to be a chant tomorrow, it should remain “Cue-to”. That’s the only one that’s worked.

    Besides, that might actually get him to laugh and break his concentration.

  • Maybe he will be lights out again, but he’s never pitched in front of a crowd like the one he’ll see Wednesday, and he’s never pitched in a game that meant this much. Maybe he’s the ice man, maybe he’ll reveal he’s human after all.

    Besides all that, even the worst team can beat the best team about 1/3 of the time.

    And further besides all that, if Cole pitches like he can, the Bucs would only need one run anyway. Cole had 6 starts of 32 where he gave up 0 ER (but only 2 where he gave up zero runs. The defense is going to need to be on top of their game too).

    • You never know until that moment….cueto certainly didn’t look like he would ever be rattled, in fact he owned us before and after the wc in 13. But no matter what he says, that moment got to him. At least for a little bit. And that’s all it took.

  • He can talk all he wants but he has to do it during the game. If he is as great as he thinks he is, then the Bucs will have to be just a little bit better to beat him and send the cubbies home.

  • Maybe he will get a stomach flu and not be 100%- something like 50%. That would help. The key is to get to him early and often.

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