Jake Arrieta Wins the Debate With Gabe Kapler, But His ERA Takes a Hit in Difficult Phillies' Win Over Marlins

Jake Arrieta is off to a very nice start for the Phillies this season. It would be even better if he had taken his skipper's advice Saturday night.

Arrieta and manager Gabe Kapler could be seen on television talking in the dugout after the Phils had opened a nine-run lead on the Miami Marlins after five innings.

"He told me he wanted to take me out," Arrieta revealed after the game. "I wanted to stay in."

Kapler deferred to Arrieta and the veteran right-hander returned to the mound for the sixth inning. Arrieta was three outs away from racking up his sixth straight quality start to open the season. But he failed to get an out in the inning. The Marlins stroked four straight singles before Kapler came out to get Arrieta.

All's well that ends well, as The Bard says. The Phillies won the game, 12-9, to improve to 15-12 overall and 10-5 at home (see observations). Even Jean Segura appeared to escape serious injury after taking a 90-mph fastball off the helmet in the second inning (see video). No concussion was the word after the game. He will be further evaluated on Sunday, but should be OK.

Arrieta got the win to improve to 4-2 because he (he had an important sacrifice bunt and an RBI single) and his mates (three homers) swung the bats well and put up a dozen runs. The defense was also quite strong, especially as the game got tighter as the Marlins rallied for eight runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to cut the Phillies' 10-1 lead to 10-9. Rhys Hoskins' two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth gave the Phillies' some cushion.

The Marlins' rally started with those four hits and four runs against Arrieta in the sixth inning.

Had Arrieta not talked his way into staying in the game at 85 pitches - Kapler had Enyel De Los Santos warming in the bullpen - he would be waking up Sunday morning with a 2.54 ERA, a top-10 mark in the National League. Instead, those four earned runs raised his ERA to 3.46.

Arrieta called out his teammates for not being ready to play earlier in the week in New York. Five nights later, he held himself accountable for not keeping the game closer and making this a more difficult night than it should have been.

"It was a pretty clean game until the sixth," he said. "I just let it get too close and they were able to scratch out a few more runs and we had to use a couple more guys out of the bullpen than we anticipated at that point in the game."

Arrieta said he understood that Kapler may have been looking to save some of the pitcher's bullets by taking him out with a big lead after five innings.

"But I also think I could have gone out there and gotten three outs quickly. It just didn't work out that way.

"I'm a little frustrated. I wasn't able to put up a clean sixth inning so De Los Santos could come in and finish a 10-1 lead. It just didn't happen. But we won the game and we still have a chance to win the series tomorrow."

Kapler credited the offense for the win. The 12 runs were just one fewer than the Phils had scored in their previous six games.

"I think what saved us was our run-scoring ability," Kapler said. "The defense was huge, but we swung the bats all the way throughout the game. We never took our foot off the gas pedal and I think that's the biggest takeaway from the game. It doesn't matter if you lead 10-1 or 15-1, you never know. You have to stay on it. Stay on it."

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