A veteran right-hander, Arietta vented in his media session last Sunday after a 6-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants in which his solo home run accounted for the team’s only offense. Arrieta used an expletive to describe the series after the Phillies were swept and called out the team’s defensive shifts.
“We’re the worst in the league in shifts,” Arrieta said, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “So we need to change that. Copy the best. I don’t know. That’s not my job. Use your eyes, make an adjustment and be better. We need some accountability all the way around — everybody, top to bottom.”
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said he has “a ton of respect” for Arrieta’s viewpoint.
“I know why he responded the way he did and we talked it through like men,” Kapler told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “And we’ll continue to do that.”
Things haven’t gotten much better for the Phillies since Arrieta’s last start. The team lost two of three to the Cubs in Chicago and opened its current three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 12-4 loss Friday night.
Arrieta (5-3, 2.66 ERA) will try to help the team get back on track. He was charged with five runs and eight hits in six innings in the loss to the Giants, but he’s back at Citizens Bank Park, where he has been dominant this season.
Arrieta, 32, is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA and .182 batting average against in five home starts this season. He has a 4.45 ERA on the road, where opponents are hitting .295 against him.
Saturday’s start will be Arrieta’s 16th career outing against the Brewers. He is 8-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in his previous starts against Milwaukee.
Left-hander Brent Suter (5-4, 4.55) will face Arrieta and the Phillies. Suter was solid in his last outing, going five innings while giving up two runs and three hits to the Chicago White Sox. He struck out six in his last start and has 54 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings this season.
“I thought Brent was good. He was sharp the first couple times (through the order),” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters after Suter’s last start. “He did a nice job, kept us in the game for sure.”
Suter will hope to get the same kind of run support the Brewers provided Friday night. They had 12 runs and 13 hits in the series opener and got two homers from Ryan Braun.
Braun raised his 2018 home run total to eight. It marked his first multi-homer game of the season and his first since Sept. 17, 2016.