Coming off of a two game losing streak from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a strong win to continue on towards the end of the season. The win came was built upon constructive at bats and a strong debut from Arizona native Josh Rojas. The first piece of the Zack Greinke trade showed up as two singles and an RBI helped the Diamondbacks offense break out of their slump.
While this game was full of good at bats and many runs, the Diamondbacks would not join the run brigade until the third inning as the Rockies were all over Merrill Kelly particularly in the first inning. The cutter and the curve were Kelly’s pitches of choice as the first pitch of the game, a 90.2 mph cutter, ran right into Charlie Blackmon’s barrel for a single to left. Trevor Story would double to left with a cutter (89.5). After a great pitching sequence to get Daniel Murphy to fly out. A Nolan Arrenado intentional walk would allow Raimel Tapia to take advantage of a curveball from Kelly to score two. Tony Wolters swung first pitch and got what he wanted as a single brought in two more. Kelly threw about 29 pitches in the first with the curveball just missing or breaking more than both Carson Kelly and Merrill Kelly expected.
The newest Diamondback, Josh Rojas, would get his first major league at bat as he lined a top spin smash to right but the ball was brought in by Charlie Blackmon. Trevor Story put on a clinic tonight as a double was roped for the only hit of the second inning. Poor bunting and a Jarrod Dyson single allowed Ketel Marte to drive in a run on a sharp liner to right field that was glove side for Blackmon.
Merrill Kelly found somewhat of a groove in the second and third as only three base runners reached between the second and third innings. The pitch sequencing was better as he attack the Rockies hitters.
Josh Rojas was given a rare opportunity during his debut with a bases loaded at bat. Peter Lambert went fastball, curveball and changeup to get the youngster to roll over a grounder to Lambert in which the double play from home to first was completed. Nick Ahmed would rope a double over Raimel Tapia in center.
Kelly pitched well in the fourth as he emptied the repertoire in terms of pitches and sequencing. However the inning was not perfect as Trevor Story blew the cover off of a cutter for his 27th homer of the year. Missed pitches like that would bite Kelly again as Ryan McMahon belted a middle-low curveball for his 13th of the year with the first pitch of the fifth inning.
With a sprinkling of runs throughout the game, the offense ignited in the sixth with four runs and a lead. Jake Lamb, Nick Ahmed, and Carson Kelly all homered with Kelly launching a nuke to center. Josh Rojas added a single in between those three tanks for his first major league debut.
Andrew Chafin entered the game in the sixth and pitched well enough to only allow two base runners. Yoshi Hirano would enter the game with two outs in the sixth.
Rojas continued the strong debut as he laced a single between short and third that brought in the only run of the seventh. Rojas in the first few at bats was adjusting to big league pitching, especially on a changeup that just feathered well enough to fool the rookie.
A double switch brought in T.J. McFarland and Tim Locastro as a great outing from McFarland followed. Entering the game with two runners on and two out, McFarland got Yonder Alonso to ground out to the pitcher.
Positive: T.J. McFarland 19.2%, Archie Bradley 12.1%, Jake Lamb 11.0%, Nich Ahmed 30.3%, Carson Kelly 15.5%
Negative: Merrill Kelly -29.5%
Positive: Trevor Story 18.9%, Raimel Tapia 21.8%, Trevor Story 18.9%
Negative: Jake McGee -33.6%, Nolan Arenado -15.5%, Ian Desmond -10.4%
Tim Locastro would be the only base runner for the Diamondbacks however it came off of a brilliant swing and a liner up the middle. Locastro took the bag at second as the call was originally an out called but the challenge from the Diamondbacks changed the call.
McFarland got the Rockies to go out 1-2-3 and Archie Bradley came into the ninth and got the save.
Thank you to the 21 commenters and 239 comments during today’s game. Tonight’s comment of the game comes from Michael McDermott with the “Stick a fork in the Dbacks for tonight.”