Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Losing an astounding 22nd game in the month of April, the Arizona Diamondbacks continue to invent new ways to lose after their 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Moving to a mind-numbingly awful 2-15 at home, the Diamondbacks are clamoring for “regression to the mean,” to rear its head sooner rather than later. By no means is the talent reflective of a team 14 games under .500, but eventually, they will have to prove that.
The D-backs got on the board early against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who is the walking poster boy for how not to throw a baseball if you would like your elbow to stay intact. Trying to pick Miguel Montero off second base provided foolish, as Chatwood’s throw sailed into center, allowing Montero to scoot over to third, and then home on an Aaron Hill sacrifice fly.
Beginning to get into a groove is shortstop Chris Owings, who brought home Eric Chavez in the second to push the Arizona lead up to 2-0. Going 2-for-4 on the evening, Owings is the only Diamondback not named Paul Goldschmidt to see his batting average north of .300.
Set on cruise control to begin the game, Mike Bolsinger retired the first 11 batters he would face. Then, the wheels came off.
Troy Tulowitzki, the hottest hitter on the planet earth, sprung a mini-rally. After his base hit, Justin Morneau snuck a ball just inside the foul line that took some “Bugs Bunny” style hops along the right field wall allowing Morneau, not typically fleet of foot, to scoot in with a run-scoring triple. Third baseman Nolan Arenado wasted no time driving in Morneau and knotting the game back up at two.
In a rare form of resiliency, the D-backs answered right back on an Eric Chavez RBI single, who was getting the start in place of Martin Prado. Even if Prado may be the better handler with the bat, Chavez will undoubtedly always provide better defensively. In his prime, he was a guaranteed lock to win the Gold Glove award, taking home the trophy from the American League every year from 2001-06.
There may be no more fearsome combination in the middle of a batting order than Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Bolsinger incurred their wrath once again in the sixth, as the two hit nearly identical rocket shots to the same part of the ballpark, with Gonzalez’s going for a double, and Tulowitzki’s soaring out for a round tripper. A base knock from Morneau later and Bolsinger’s once promising afternoon finished after just five innings.
The comeback would take a bit longer this time around. After a phenomenal defensive play by Chris Owings that will undoubtedly cycle throughout highlight reels all year long, the club was down to their final six outs as the bottom of the eighth approached.
Acquired in the off-season due to his ability to get left-handed batters out, Boone Logan came on to pitch the eighth inning for the Rockies. The only problem being, A.J. Pollock is no lefty. Never a question if it would have the distance, Pollock clobbered a pitch to deep left field that banged off the foul pole, tying the game at four and sending the sparse Arizona crowd into a frenzy.
Double-switched into the game during the eighth, Drew Stubbs entered the game to nary a batted eyelash. Come the top of the ninth, he was hammering his first home run of the season off closer Addison Reed, putting the Rockies ahead for good, 5-4.
As if the home run was not enough of a dagger, Stubbs ran down Chavez’s lined smash in the bottom of the ninth to dash any hopes of an Arizona comeback. He may have only played a single inning, but Stubbs was the player of the game.
With the acquisition of former Houston Astro Lucas Harrell, should Collmenter prove ineffective in his starting role, either he or Bolsinger may ultimately be relegated to the dark and shadowy place known as the D-back bullpen.