A difficult trade was made after the Diamondbacks lost on Sunday. They sent reliever extraordinaire, Merrill Kelly and $2,550,000 to the Miami Marlins in exchange for third baseman Yairo Munoz and right-handed pitcher, Jordan Yamamoto. To create room for Munoz, Ryan Mountcastle was optioned to AAA-Reno. Yamamoto joined him there, sliding directly into the Aces’ starting rotation. Munoz took over as the primary third baseman for Arizona. The hope is, that Munoz will be able to provide a more steady, consistent, even league average bat, while also playing solid defense. Essentially, he is expected to be the anti-Mountcastle. Munoz will not be launching home runs to the Moon, but he will also not be kicking the ball around the infield. Yamamoto profiles to be something of a swingman, filling very much the same role as Kelly did before he left. However, Yamamoto is only 24, and will be playing for league minimum and have two option years remaining when he joins the Diamondbacks 26-man roster latrer this season or the beginning of 2021. His filthy change is his best pitch. Combined with his above-average or plus curve and slider, Yamamoto brings a very different look from the mound than any of Arizona’s other pitchers. Big things are expected from him in the future.
Monday saw the Arizona Diamondbacks take the field in Colorado to face Antonio Senzatela and the Rockies. The Diamondbacks were giving the ball to Robbie Ray, their ace-caliber lefty (the other one). No offense at ll intended towards Senzatela, but he is not exactly a tremendous starting pitcher. This was supposed to be a game in which the Snakes got healthy against a struggling team sending a sub-optimal starter to the mound.
But then, you can’t predict baseball.
Antonio Senzatela more or less abused every member of the Arizona lineup not named Nick Ahmed. Somehow, the team’s super-slumper, Christian Walker, also had himself both a hit and a walk in the game, though neither of those contributions helped the team to score. When all was said and done, Senzatela managed to hold the Diamondbacks to only one run through eight innings of work. He scattered five hits and two walks and, for the most part, made it look easy. There were no Coors Field bloopers or loud fouls flying just to the wrong side of the foul pole. In an environment perfect for resuscitating the Arizona offense, the Diamondbacks still could not put runs on the board, or even multiple runners on the bases.
For Arizona, Robbie Ray had what is more or less a typical outing. Generally speaking, one has to like Arizona’s chances when the starter only allows two runs through six innings. Unlike Senzatela’s stellar outing, this is what Arizona has come to expect out of Ray. Despite his challenges with the long ball, he managed to keep Colorado in the yard on Monday. He struck out six in his six innings of work. He did allow three more walks, continuing that somewhat disturbing trend. However, as he has shown over the last two months, his issue with walks is becoming less about extended at-bats. That is certainly progress in the right direction. Now his walks are coming when the opposition refuses to bite on that filthy slider of his.
Kevin Ginkel came on to pitch both the seventh and eighth innings. He managed to keep the Rockies from scoring, setting things up for the all-important ninth inning.
With the Diamondbacks down by one, Carson Kelly started the ninth off with a walk. That brought Yairo Munoz to the mound in his first game with the Snakes. Munoz flew out to center on the first pitch of the at-bat. Peter Bourjos barely had to move to make the catch. That brought up Nick Ahmed. Ahmed did something few people have managed to do, hit a ball in the direction of Bourjos and have it fall for a hit. Ahmed ripped a double just to the right of center that fell just short of the wall. His double scored Kelly from first base, tying the game at two a piece. The Diamondbacks were unable to bring Ahmed home to score to take the lead.
The ball was then turned over to Andrew Chafin to keep the score tied up at two. Alas, this was not Chafin’s night. Brendan Rodgers doubled off the first pitch thrown. He then tagged up when Charlie Blackmon flew out to right two pitches later. Then, Ian Desmond slapped a soft single, which scored Rodgers easily, ending the game.
Final Score: AZ 2 - COL 3
As one would expect, the player of the game was Antonio Senzatela, who pitched possibly the best game of his life.
Tomorrow, the Diamondbacks will rely on Jon Duplantier to start the game while Colorado looks to Ashton Goudeau.