Look for Josh Bell to have a big game today for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last season, first baseman Josh Bell made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His debut came in a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs in June. During that series, Bell got his first taste of Pirate arch nemesis Jake Arrieta.
In game one of that series, a game the Pirates would win, Josh Bell made his Major League debut as a pinch-hitter. This pinch hit at bat came against Jake Arrieta and it ended with a single. This started Bell’s ownership of Arrieta.
For the past two seasons, Jake Arrieta has been the Pittsburgh Pirates’ arch nemesis. This was especially true during the 2016 campaign when the Pirates won 98 games and the Cubs won 97. A big reason for this was Jake Arrieta tossing a complete game against the Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game that season.
A big reason that Jake Arrieta has always been so good against the Pittsburgh Pirates is that there are not many players on the Pirate roster that have had a lot of success against him. Of hitters on the Pirates’ roster with at least 15 at-bats against him, only David Freese (.533) and John Jaso (.409) own a slugging percentage higher than .375 against Arrieta.
However, the Pittsburgh Pirates now have hope in their battle against Jake Arrieta. Hope in the form of Josh Bell.
In 2016 Josh Bell faced Jake Arrieta seven times. In these seven trips to the plate, Bell was 3-for-5 with a home run and two walks. For whatever reason, probably because Bell is a really good hitter, he had zero issues with Arrieta last season.
While I am not a big believer in hitter v. pitcher stats, due to it being a small sample size, there is no denying the success Josh Bell has had thus far in his Major League career against Jake Arrieta. Assuming Bell is in the lineup this afternoon, hopefully, that success will continue.