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Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 5: Throwing it away

Rockies drop Diamondbacks to 3rd place with a comeback win

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 53-46. Pace: 87-75. Change on 2017: -4.

Today I was given the opportunity by Jim to get a credential under the AZ Snakepit banner to report on the game from the Chase Field Press Box. So first order of business is to thank Jim, and the Diamondbacks as well for granting the credential.

My view for the day was from this vantage point in the press box

With an announced crowd of 43,430 in attendance, the game would start off with both pitchers quickly settling in to a pitchers duel. Zack Godley began with a 10 pitch first , 8 of them strikes, as he retired the Rockies in order. He would do the same in 2nd and the 3rd. Perfect through 3 innings, 6 of 9 first pitch strikes, 30 pitches in all. One notable play in the inning however was a Gerado Parra tapper back to the mound that Godley tossed underhand to Paul Goldschmidt at first. This is something we have seen him do more often lately, and the unwillingness to throw overhand to first was commented on by the Booth during the inning.

Kyle Freeland meanwhile was just as good through the first 3 innings, retiring 9 of 10 batters , the only base runner being Ketel Marte who lined a single in the first. With a 6 pitch 2nd and 7 pitch 3rd Freeland navigated the Diamondbacks lineup in just 29 pitches through 3. He was assisted by some stellar Rockies defense in the 2nd as Trevor Storey and Garrett Hampson both made spectacular plays to rob Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings.

The middle innings would prove to be a completely different Ballgame.

Godley began to lose his release point in the top of the 4th and returned to falling off the mound as he walked two and uncorked a wild pitch. However he managed to get out of the jam by striking out Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado , both on curve balls, to end the inning with the Rockies still hitless.

In the bottom of the 4th the Dbacks sent 8 men to the plate as Freeland completely lost his command. Loading the bases on a hit batter, and two walks, (Marte/Goldy/Pollock) Steven Souza then came through with a single to CF to score Marte. Nick Ahmed would pop out to foul territory behind first base but Ian Desmond needed to make a running grab, and with his momentum taking him away from the infield, Goldy took off for home and just beat the throw with a brilliant tag evading slide.

A Chris Owings single later made it 3-0 before Freeland got John Ryan Murphy and Godley on two deep flyouts to end the inning.

Ian Desmond tripled to deep RCF at the 413 Mark to leadoff the 5th. AJ Pollock got there, but it was off his glove for a near miss at a great play. Goodbye no hitter.

Garret Hampson followed with a double off the left field wall over Jay’s head for his first MLB hit. Good bye Shutout . 2 outs late Charlie Blackmon hit a ground rule double to left making it 3-2 .

Chris Iannetta then tapped back to Godley who again threw underhand on the play to get the out at first. However an alert Hampson took advantage and advanced to third. Godley would end up stranding the runner with no further damage, but the throwing to first issue seemed to be looming larger and larger for Godley.

After the D Backs scored one more run in the bottom of the 5th on Steven Souza’s second RBI hit of the night, Godley came back out for what would not be a pretty 6th inning.

Carlos Gonzalez lead off with a tapper to the left of the mound that Godley would field but being too far to run over and toss underhand, was forced to throw overhand to first. He spiked the ball well short and to Goldy’s right pulling him way off the bag. Seeing a major league player make a throw like that on a routine play was both jarring and unsurprising.

The wheels came off for Godley at that point. Singles by Trevor Storey and Ian Desmond scored Cargo and put runners at first and third. Ian Desmond then took off for second with Godley still holding the ball. Zack spun to throw, but fearing another throwing error, made no throw, and Desmond took the base uncontested. Storey immediately started dancing off third daring Godley to throw over like we did in little league. Clearly the Rockies figured out Godley’s problem, and so will the rest of MLB soon enough. Zack Godley clearly has the yips.

One more run scored in the inning, as Silvino Bracho relieved Godley and immediately threw a wild pitch to bring in Storey. After getting an out Bracho would gave way to Andew Chafin, who induced last night’s Rockies hero Raimel Tapia into an inning ending lineout double play, (Pitcher to 3rd base) tie game 4-4

The teams would each trade runs in the 7th inning. Jorge De La Rosa was called on to face 2 lefties, walking the second one, before being replaced by replaced by Yoshi Hirano, who gave up a run scoring double Cargo making it 5-4 Rockies. The D Backs answered in the bottom half however with a Nick Ahmed RBI single scoring AJ Pollock, tying it back up 5-5

However in the top of the 8th Yoshi failed to preserve the tied, giving up a long homerun to to pinch hitter Tom Murphy. his first of the year. The pitch was a thigh high splitter right over the heart of the plate, continuing a trend for Yoshi of not being able to keep the splitter down lately.

After failing to score in their half the D Backs would head to the 9th trailing the Rockies 6-5. Brad Boxberger came on to face the middle of the Rockies order, retiring them easily 3 up 3 down.

Wade Davis entered in the 9th to close it out for the Rockies. Ketel Marte singled just past a diving Arenado to get on base for the 4th time in the game. But Goldy got caught looking for the 3rd time of the night. AJ Pollock hit into a fielders choice, bringing up Steven Souza up with 2 outs. Souza worked a walk, putting the tying run at 2nd, but Nick Ahmed would get called out on a pitch well inside off the plate to end the game.

Certainly a frustrating loss for the team. Godley’s issues throwing to first base cannot be papered over. However in the post game press conference, Torey Lovullo said

“I feel confident in his ability to throw over to first base”

This may not be a universal opinion however. It’s certainly not an opinion held by this author.

The loss drops the Dbacks a 12 game behind the Rockies and into 3rd place in the NL West. They remain 1 12 games behind the Dodgers who also lost tonight.

Bells and whistles, by Jim

Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
100 mph: Steven Souza, +28.9%
Top gear: Chafin, +20.2%; Marte, +17.4%
Blown transmission: Yoshihisa Hirano, -28.4%
Flat tires: Godley, -25.8%; Murphy, -13.7%; Jay, -13.2%; Goldschmidt, -10.3%

Present in the GDT tonight were AzDbackfanInDc, DORRITO, DeadManG, Dewberry, EphBoston, Fangdango, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jackwriter, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, SomeGuyFromTucson, asteroid, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, kilnborn, onedotfive, pyroman168 and smartplays. Nothing got more than two recs, so... be better, or whatever. I was off watching some one-act plays with Mrs. SnakePit, in which SnakePit Jr was one of the actors. I do not feel I missed much by this choice. We’ll try and avoid the sweep tomorrow, with Zack Greinke on the mound.