"Whooaaaaaaaaaaa!" (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Record: 9-9; Pace: 81-81; Change on 2011: +1
Josh Collmenter's starts have progressively improved since the start of the season: 3 innings, 6 runs; 4 innings, 5 runs; and 5.1 innings, 4 runs. Tonight started off looking like it might be a return to last year's form for Collmenter, with the first three innings scoreless and relatively quick. But, then game the 4th inning, and the balls that had been being landing in gloves started bouncing off the walls and landing in the seats.
Much like yesterday, the final score makes it look like a much closer game than it actually was. Though the Diamondbacks never gave up, it was overall a disappointing evening. Read on for the details.
|Final - 4.24.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Vance Worley (2 - 1)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (6)
LP: Josh Collmenter (0 - 2)
In the early innings, it looked like tonight might be a night where things went Josh Collmenter's way. Juan Pierre led off the game for Philadelphia with a single, but was gunned down by Miguel Montero trying to steal second base on the very next pitch. Pete Orr struck out on three pitches and Jimmy Rollins flew out to right field, making it a very easy inning for Collmenter. He struck out two Phillies in the 2nd inning and worked around a leadoff single in the 3rd, and things were looking up for Josh.
But then the 4th inning came 'round, and it said, "Hey Diamondbacks fans, I'm going to make things a little more interesting in this game," if by "interesting" it meant "from a tie game to your team being down by four runs." With one out and a runner on first, Hunter Pence homered to right field. While Justin Upton was ticked off and thought he should've caught that, I don't think he can reasonably expect himself to be able to jump 10 feet off the ground. After Shane Victorino popped out, there were two outs and it was looking like Collmenter might get out of this without too much damage. However, then Ty Wiggington doubled to left and Lance Nix homered to way way deep right field. The pitch was belt high, Nix clobbered it, and everybody knew it was gone. Not even the Game Genie Moon Jump code would have helped Justin Upton catch that ball.
To Collmenter's credit, he managed to settle down and have a 1-2-3 frame in the 5th and 6th inning, including two strikeouts in the 6th. But he allowed back to back singles in the 7th inning to Nix (who as 3-for-3) and Brian Schneider, and Collmenter handed the reins to Bryan Shaw. After a sacrifice moved the runners over, Juan Pierre hit sinking ball to left that was caught on a nice play by Jason Kubel. Except, the box score doesn't say that it was caught for the second out of the inning because Angel Hernandez completely blew the call. You won't see me call out an umpire very often because I know how hard their jobs are and sometimes there are close calls, but this was not a close call. This wasn't a ball that might've been a trap or might've skipped on grass before popping into the glove. The white ball clearly and cleanly went into the black glove of Jason Kubel. (Kubel, by the way, also took issue with a strike three call the previous inning on a ball that was clearly outside, hence the recap title.)
Luckily, because everybody else on the field also thought the ball was caught, the runners stayed where they were and the bases were loaded with one out, and all Shaw needs now is a double play to keep the Diamondbacks in the game. But Shaw didn't get a double play, he got a bases-clearing triple from Pete Orr, and suddenly the game went from 4-1 to 7-1.
The one run that the Diamondbacks had by this time came courtesy of a Cody Ransom solo home run in the 5th inning. Aside from that, there was very little offense out of Arizona's hitters in the first two thirds of the game. Oh there were some baserunners in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th innings, and there were even two on with two out for Upton in the 5th, but Phillies starter Vince Worley was throwing well and there wasn't the string of hits needed to score anybody. That is, until the Diamondbacks' half of the 7th inning, where they were happy to see anybody but Worley, and that included Jose Contreras. Three doubles in a row from Willie Bloomquist, pinch hitter Ryan Roberts, and Gerardo Parra gave Arizona two runs right back. Parra then stole third and scored on a Justin Upton groundout, and the score was down to a more manageable 7-4.
The two teams exchanged solo home runs by Shane Victorino (given up by Mike Zagurski in his Diamondbacks debut) and Jason Kubel in the 8th inning. The Diamondbacks went down quietly in the 8th (Chad Qualls struck out the side after Kubel's HR) and 9th to end the game with an 8-5 loss.
It's never a good day when none of your pitchers have a positive WPA and none of your batters are above 4%.
Devil's Advocate: Cody Ransom, +4.0%
Devil Wears Prada: Paul Goldschmidt, -8.7%
Devil's Reject: Josh Collmenter, -18.9%
Although he pitched into the 7th and left down 4-1, a final line of 6.0IP/9H/6ER doesn't make it look like a good night for Josh Collmenter. It wasn't as bad as it seemed, and he had the added bonus of allowing no walks and striking out six. With most of the damage coming in one bad inning plus some help from Shaw/Angel Hernandez, I think Collmenter will get another start or two. He has improved in each of his starts, but he's still getting hit hard and his mistakes need to not be hit for mammoth home runs.
Pretty good turnout for a rather disappointing game. Of the 800+ comments, over 150 of them were ish95's. NASCAR and hotclaws made the podium. All present were Cardscrazy247, BattleMoses, TylerO, snakecharmer, jjwaltrip, LiamNeeson, Dan Strittmatter, imstillhungry95, Clefo, hotclaws, Jim McLennan, dbacks25, porty99, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, piratedan7, NASCARbernet, rd33, asteroid, luckycc, RumorsOfWars36, 4 Corners Fan, txzona, dbacksfann, rfffr, dbacks79, DivineWolfwood, DbacksSkins, CaptainCanuck, Stupendous Man, fandbacks, and PR151.
There were two funny captiongraphs posted in tonight's GDT, one in particular that everyone needs to read, but I'm giving CotD to 'Skins for his witty remark after Jason Kubel's home run. (Jim was thinking along the same lines as 'Skins but doesn't quite type as fast. Then again, who does?)
It's a day game tomorrow, which means radio for Arizonans and the Phillies' TV broadcast for everyone else. There's still a chance to take the series, and it's Trevor Cahill for the Diamondbacks against Cole Hamels for Philadelphia.