Luke Weaver’s night started out well. He worked around a leadoff single by Raimel Tapia in the first to retire the next three batters without drama. Elias Diaz hit a two out double in the 2nd, but was stranded when Ryan McMahon struck out to end the inning. Three up three down in the 3rd and two quick outs in the 4th, and Weaver was cruising with 6 straight outs and 4 K’s through 3 2/3.
But Weaver’s 4th inning problems from earlier in the season reappeared. He came in having allowed 11 runs and a 1.024 OPS in the 4th inning this year. Those numbers just got worse. Justin Fuentes ripped a two out double, and was brought home by a Daniel Murphy Single. Then Diaz smashed a 107 MPH line drive just over the fence in left center to give Colorado a 3-1 lead.
Weaver gave up two more in the 5th. A leadoff double by Garret Hampson was followed by D-back killer Tapia’s singled on a ground ball into left field to score the 4th Rockies run. A passed ball by Daulton Varsho and a sac fly by Charlie Blackmon resulted in another run and a 5-2 Rockies lead.
His final line of 5 IP, 5 R, 4 ER on 7 hits, 0 Walks , 6 K’s and 1 HR ended his season with an eye watering 6.58 ERA
Weaver has almost completely abandoned his cutter and curveball. At one point he had thrown fastballs on 39 of his first 47 pitches, 7 changeups, and just one Curve. Of his 90 pitches I counted just 3 curves and 1 cutter. Everything else was fastballs and changeups.
This is not the repertoire of a starting pitcher. I’ve been harping on this a while now and been suggesting they try him as closer next year. Bob Brenly suggested it was worth considering during the broadcast. Understandably, the team would prefer to get maximum value out of Luke as a starter, but in order to do so he’s going to have to rediscover a third pitch. When asked about what goes into to converting a starter to a reliever in the pre game interviews, Torey Lovullo’s first comment was the guy needs to have a 3rd pitch to be able to get through a full season as a starter. The team will need to figure out if they want to convert Luke or leave him in the rotation. But if they choose the latter, they’ll need to help him solve the 3rd pitch issue.
Both Torey and Luke acknowledged this issue during the post game comments, and it’s something they will indeed be addressing in the off season and next spring. Luke said it just came down to inability to execute those pitches, and he believes he’ll figure it out. Each time I talk to the young man I’m reminded what good kid he is and I’ll be rooting for him.
Post-game audio from Lovullo
Post-game audio from Weaver
On the other side of the ledger, the offense was largely ineffective tonight. Daulton Varsho lead off the game with a double off the yellow padding above the fence in right. He score after some shakey defense from the Rockies , including two errors. But starter German Marquez retired 13 in a row at one point and cruised through much of the game.
The D-backs had a great opportunity in their half of the 5th to put up a crooked number. Pavin Smith drew a one out walk, and Josh VanMeter hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that McMahon was able to field but couldn’t make the throw. Jon Jay then singled to right, but Kevin Pillar made a good throw to cut down the not so fast Smith at the plate. VanMeter scored from 3rd on a wild pitch, but Varsho struck out and the D-backs only got one run back to make the score 5-2 at that point.
Silvino Bracho made his not so triumphant return from Tommy John Surgery in the 6th. He got two quick outs, but a sharp single by Diaz was followed by a home run to left center by McMahon, giving the Rockies a 7-2 lead.
The DBacks got one back in the bottom of the 6th thanks to a two out rbi single by Eduardo Escobar, making it 7-3 through 6. They had another chance in the 7th when Jay and Varsho had back to back two out singles. But Ketel Marte struck out to leave them stranded.
Marquez pitched a very good game, going 7 innings, allowing just 3 unearned runs on 5 hits, 1 walk and 7 K’s. Tyler Kinely and Jairo Diaz pitched scoreless innings for Colorado in the 8th and 9th.
Keury Mella threw a scoreless 7th and Taylor Widener did the same in the 8th. But Hector Rondon allowed 3 runs in a 31 pitch 9th for the final Rockies’ runs. The D-backs will have to make a decision on his $4M option for next year. ($500K buyout) He posted a 7.65 ERA in 23 Games, 20 IP in 2020. His Fastball Velocity is down a couple of ticks from his peak with Houston and Chicago. Pass.
This was not a well played game. There were 6 errors, (4 by Colorado and 2 by Arizona). A couple of Rockies Wild Pitches, the Varsho passed ball, and some lackluster offense by the last place Diamondbacks made this game feel exactly like you might expect at this point.
I won’t wax poetic here. It’s been a tough year. Tough year for the team, tough year for the fans, tough year to write about it. I will miss it for sure though. The only thing worse than bad baseball is no baseball.
Roll Call Info
Commenter list AzDbackfanInDc, ChuckJohnson56, Diamondhacks, EdTheRed99, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Schilling2001, Snake_Bitten, Ubersnake, edbigghead, gzimmerm, kilnborn, since_98
COTD by NikT77 was set up on tee by Snake_ Bitten, and both comments were totally on point