The last time the recappers went back-to-back with victories was nearly two months ago. The last time I recapped a victory came two and a half months ago. Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best efforts in the eighth inning that is exactly what I will do tonight. I don’t quite know what to do with my hands.
Humberto Castellanos extended a current franchise record by becoming the fourteenth different starting pitcher the D’backs have used this season, so I was hardly optimistic at the beginning of the game. His opponent on the mound, Antonio Senzatella, had already started three game against Arizona this season and brought with him a 2.55 ERA against them. Castellanos considers himself a starter, but because he had been working out of the bullpen for Arizona to this point he was not expected to rack up a substantial pitch count.
Castellanos had to pitch to traffic in each of his four innings, but did not allow a run in his first career MLB start. A pair of strikeouts got him out of the first inning with runners on the corners in which he began with a leadoff walk. He gave up a leadoff single to Ryan McMahon in the second and another to Elias Diaz with one out. Senzatella bunted them along to second and third base. Castellanos got out of the pinch in the second by inducing a Ramiel Tapia ground out.
Meanwhile Arizona took an early lead in the second inning by nickle and dime-ing Senzatella. Christian Walker began the frame with a slow rolling infield single. The Rockies tried to wish it foul, but it rolled down the third base line and hit the bag instead. Brendan Rodgers made the first of a series of beautiful plays at second base for Colorado showing incredible range. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a grounder in between Rodgers and C.J. Cron at first base. Rodgers quickly ranged to his left and surprisingly threw back to second base to get the Walker. His hard slide prevented a double play. Three consecutive singles from Pavin Smith, Nick Ahmed, and Daulton Varsho, respectively, made it a 2-0 lead for the D’backs. Castellanos drove in the third run himself on a loud liner of a sacrifice fly to right centerfield gap. He very nearly had a double and really put a charge on the 97 MPH first pitch fastball from Senzatella.
That 3-0 score would hold until the seventh inning at which point the game would become a bit more stressful. Castellanos would finish his first MLB start by going four innings, allowing no runs on four hits, two strikeouts, one walk, through sixty pitches. Matt Peacock took the call out of the bullpen in the fifth striking out both Senzatela and Tapia on seven total pitches bringing that inning to a swift conclusion. Brendan Rodgers made his second spectacular play of the evening in the bottom of the frame by once again showing incredible range to his left robbing Josh Rojas of a leadoff single. Rodgers’s’s’s’s’s final web gem began the bottom of the sixth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a roller that made it well into the right field grass, but Brendan’s incredible range allowed him to track the ball and make the out at first.
Colorado got on the board with a solo home run deep into the left field bleachers by Elias Diaz to begin the seventh inning. However, that would be the only run Peacock would allow in his three innings of work. Peacock was almost just as good as Castellanos was, but Arizona was still without a lead that could be considered comfortable. That was until Arizona’s half of the seventh. Lucas Gilbreath relieved Senzatela for Colorado facing Stuart Fairchild in his first MLB at bat. Fairchild hit a low liner to Tapia in left field who made a nice diving catch, but it came out of his glove as he rolled over giving Fairchild his first career hit. Rojas walked bringing David Peralta to the plate with runners on first and second, but he would pop out to third base. Peralta would go 0-for-4 on the evening, and his OPS on the season is now a disappointing .715. Having faced the three batter minimum Gilbreath was relieved by Tyler Kinley to face Eduardo Escobar who was 2-for-3 at the plate already. Escobar turned around a 2-2 95 MPH fastball from Kinley to the right field bleachers pushing Arizona’s lead 6-to-1.
I had not begun writing the recap at that point despite the lead because of the D’backs previous misfortunes this season. Colorado came back to provide some late game heartburn with the assistance of a few D’backs throwing errors. Joe Mantiply took the ball in the eighth for Arizona with a pair of left handers due up for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon reached on an infield single down the first base line after he ran over Mantiply to knock the ball loose. It was a clean and legal play because Mantiply stumbled into Blackmon’s running lane. From there the inning really spiraled and resembled much of what we have seen from Arizona this year.
Brendan Rodgers hit a roller to Ahmed at shortstop who had no chance at a double play. Knowing he had to be quick to get Rodgers at first, Ahmed rushed his throw that went wide of Pavin who had shifted over to first base. That errant throw put Blackmon at third and Rodgers at second. Varsho tried to pick off Blackmon at third, and his throw also sailed wide into left field scoring Blackmon. I don’t think that Varsho has a future behind the plate at the MLB level because his arm is just as bad as was rumored when he was coming up through the minors. Ryan McMahon hit a ground rule double to the left field corner making the score 6-to-3 ending Mantiply’s inning. When he got back to the dugout, he took his frustrations out on the water cooler. I can’t say I blame him.
Brett de Geus came in and gave up a single to C.J. Cron making the score 6-to-4. He finally ended the mess by getting Diaz to ground into a double play followed by a nice running and leaping grab by Rojas in right field to conclude the eighth. Joakim Soria provided a stress free top of the ninth sandwiching two strikeout between a Garrett Hampson fly out. Thus, Arizona has their first series victory since late April early May which also came against the Colorado Rockies.
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