Josh Collmenter (image c/o: Mark Winograd)
There was a brief delay to start this game, and then the rains continued to fall. The umpiring crew was clearly trying to force this game into “official game” territory, but had to give it up after 4 innings. When sure-handed Johnny Mac and gold glover Gerardo Parra are completely butchering plays they’d make every other day of the week and twice on Sunday, you know it was getting a bit ridiculous.
However, there are 4 innings of baseball before a 1 hour and 11 minute delay and post-delay baseball (in the same pouring rain) to talk about, so here we go! Game 8/162.
1. Ryan Roberts (3B) – Back at his usual spot at 3B, he singled to start the game and drew a walk in his second at-bat. He reached on a force-out following the rain delay, but he continued to make solid contact.
2. Gerardo Parra (LF) – Getting the start in LF, he promptly singled immediately following Ryan Roberts’ leadoff single. He then got picked off of second base to end the inning. Following the rain delay, he hit yet another single to left field (his third in as many at-bats). In the 8th, he put down a beautiful bunt up the first base line, executing a safety squeeze and increasing the lead to 7-5.
3. Justin Upton (RF) – Struck out in both of his first two at-bats before the rain delay, leaving 4 men on base.
4. Miguel Montero (C) – Struck out on a pitch he didn’t like and walked. But, following the rain delay, he worked the count and blasted a 2-out, 3-run HR over the right/CF wall. The 2 potential double-plays that were broken up immediately prior to his at-bat loomed huge, as the deficit was cut from 5-1 to 5-4 with one swing of the bat.
5. Chris Young (CF) – Again, he continues to be on fire, driving home the game’s first run in the top of the first. Unfortunately, he popped out with the bases loaded and two outs in the 3rd inning, but he was only hitting around .400 and not 1.000 at the time, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected. He ended up going 2-for-4 with an RBI on the night. When you’re hot, you’re hot. And, Chris Young is still on fire.
6. Lyle Overbay (1B) – 0-for-2 with a strikeout going into the rain delay, he at least avoided leaving any runners on base.
6b. Paul Goldschmidt (PH-1B) – In the 7th inning, he pinch-hit for Lyle Overbay and lifted a sac fly into shallow RF. It was played really well by Michael Cuddyer, but Justin Upton charged hard and beat the throw, giving the Diamondbacks the lead for the first time in the ballgame. 6-5 Dbacks.
7. Aaron Hill (2B) – Unfortunately, he was part of the baserunning blunders prior to the rain delay and was thrown out (by a mile) attempting to steal second base in the second inning (as part of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out) after he walked in the second. He had some fleet-footed base-running following the rain delay to avoid a tag in the top of the 6th.
8. John McDonald (SS) – As per usual, not much was happening with the bat, but he made a couple of good plays (and, one that skidded off his wet and cold glove) before the rain delay. However, after the delay, Johnny Mac ripped his first hit of the year into left field and drove in Aaron Hill in the 6th to tie the game at 5-5. And, got his second hit of the season – another double, this one leading off the 8th inning, allowing him to be standing on third for Gerardo Parra to execute a safety squeeze.
9. Josh Collmenter (SP) – As in his last start, he never really settled in – leaving a lot of stuff up and over the plate and the Rockies took advantage – and making at least one fielding miscue. Going into the rain delay: 4.0 IP, 5H, 5R, 3BB, 3K, 2HR. It was a start where many people in the Diamondbacks baseball fandom were considering that Josh Collmenter was pitching for his spot in the rotation. But, after a solid year last year – including a post-season win – its unclear how long of a leash he really has at this point. It is highly possible that Josh Collmenter isn’t going anywhere for a good long while. But, if the pulse of the fandom is correct and he really was pitching to save his spot in the starting 5, he certainly didn’t do himself any favors tonight.
9b. Geoff Blum (PH) – Pinch hit for the pitcher (as he does) and took a lead off walk following the rain delay and broke up a double-play with a “I have been playing baseball longer than you have” hard slide into second base when Ryan Roberts grounded to the shortstop. (And, in the following at-bat, Gerardo Parra did exactly the same thing to break up another potential double play).
9c. Wade Miley (RP) – Carving a bit of a niche coming out in long relief of Josh Collmenter, he got 2 quick outs before giving up a triple to Michael Cuddyer. He made a couple of great plays in his first inning of relief, backing up a wayward throw to third on Cuddyer’s triple (he would have scored) and then covering first on a Tyler Colvin grounder. And, just like the last time he came in in long relief of Collmenter, he kept the opposing team at bay, pitching 3.0 innings of 2H, 1BB baseball. And, in the bottom of the 7th, he executed a swinging bunt for an infield single, in his quest to make himself indispensable to this team. Something that is going to create a bit of a situation when Saito is activated off of the DL.
9d. David Hernandez (RP) – Came in for his traditional 8th inning appearance. Unfortunately, he gave up a run, cutting a 7-5 deficit down to 7-6 going into the 9th inning.
9e. JJ Putz (CL) – Came in with the pouring rain. Let loose and hit Marco Scutaro. In conditions where no one can see and it was 38 degrees, this is not surprising. Unfortunately, that put the tying run on base. So, when Todd Helton laced a HR barely inside the RF foul pole, the Rockies walked off with the win.
Score: 8-7, Diamondbacks lose (and lose their first series to Colorado since 2010); Record 5-3. They got our hopes up, but man. That was a major letdown. But, with baseball, there’s always tomorrow. Hopefully, the sun will come out tomorrow.
Conclusion: It was wet and cold and miserable in Colorado. And, the weather was pretty terrible, too.
And, in case you missed it earlier, we have a shiny new feature here on the blog: THE 2012 HBP-o-METER.