Phillies-turned-Cubs Jake Arrieta, Brandon Workman impress

Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Two former Philadelphia Phillies pitchers who had underwhelming 2020 seasons in red pinstripes — right-handers Jake Arrieta and Brandon Workman — had anything but a disappointing showing with Chicago Cubs in their win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Tossing six innings, Arrieta allowed six hits and just one run and walk each, while punching out five of his 24 batters faced. Workman followed in relief of Arrieta by tossing a 1-2-3 scoreless seventh. He struck out two batters and needed only 10 pitches (8 strikes) to get through the inning. Workman also tossed two-thirds of a scoreless inning for the Cubs on Opening Day, two days prior.

Jake Arrieta and Brandon Workman seem comfortable, away from the Phillies.

Arrieta went just 22-23 with a 4.36 ERA spanning his 64 starts in a Phillies uniform from 2018-20. The Phillies hoped Arrieta could continue his dominance shown during his first Cubs stint from 2013-17, perhaps even flashing some dominance from his 2015 Cy Young season when he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA across 33 starts. The right-hander ultimately failed to do that over his three-year, $75 million contract.

The Phillies acquired Workman in late August 2020 from the Boston Red Sox in a desperate attempt to put a band-aid on their sinking bullpen. Not only did Workman struggle, but so did the other reliever (Heath Hembree) the Phillies acquired in the swap that sent Nick Pivetta and rising minor-leaguer Connor Seabold to Boston.

Across 14 appearances in red pinstripes, Workman went 1-4 with a 6.92 ERA, three blown saves, 2.462 WHIP ratio, and 15-9 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 13 innings.

Already, Arrieta and Workman have logged a win and hold respectively with the Cubs through their first 2021 appearance. This is pure irony, but almost expected at the same time for Phillies fans.

Another former Phillie, third baseman Maikel Franco, logged two RBI for the Baltimore Orioles in their 4-2 Saturday win against Workman’s former team in the Red Sox.

Seeing former Phillies thrive is not nearly as bad when the Joe Girardi-led team is 2-0.

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