A deeper look at Arrieta’s summer slump

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Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs talks with Miguel Montero #47 in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on June 5, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Through the early part of this season, it appeared that Jake Arrieta was well on his way to repeating his historic 2015 run that culminated in winning the National League Cy Young Award.

After Arrieta’s 9-0 record and 1.56 ERA through his first 11 starts, all indications were that he was well on his way to earning the 2016 Cy Young Award.

On June 5, the Arizona Diamondbacks would hand Arrieta his first loss since the Cubs were no-hit by Cole Hamels last June.

Since then, it seems the wheels have come off, as Arrieta has posted a 3-4 record with a 4.81 ERA while struggling with his command. Although his strikeouts per nine innings has increased by 1.5, his home runs surrendered per nine innings has jumped from .36 to .92 and he is allowing 1.12 more walks per game.

A few aspects of Arrieta’s game that have had major cumulative effects on his recent performance issues are his increased walk numbers paired with a ballooned batting average of balls in play (BABIP) and his inconsistency in keeping runners on base. Through his last seven games, Arrieta is stranding 15.6 percent  less base runners and a BABIP increase from .213 to .336.

Add to all of these factors that batters have been squaring up Arrieta more frequently with a 10.5 percent increase of hard hit balls and an 11.6 percent decrease of softly hit balls.

Arrieta’s has allowed 21 earned runs in his past seven starts, something that took 26 starts dating back to last July for him to do.

It’s hard to believe that Arrieta’s struggles will become a constant trend, as it was not until the second half last season where he went into the prime of his historic run.

With his next start not being until Tuesday against the Mets, the 11-day break will hopefully allow Arrieta time to clear his head and work out some of his recent mechanical issues.