There were many highlights from last night’s 7-6 victory in 14 innings by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the St. Louis Cardinals. You could begin with the matchup that featured two top-flight pitching prospects, Tyler Skaggs for the D’backs and Michael Wacha for the Cards. There was A.J. Pollock‘s three run home run early and Paul Goldschmidt‘s hit late to win it and in between a blown call at third that could have cost Arizona the game. For me, THE most impressive part of the game was yet another superb performance by Josh Collmenter who turned in four shutout innings to get the win.
Last night marked the second time this season Collmenter earned the “W” this season during an extra inning affair with St. Louis. Back on April 3rd, he hurled five innings of one run ball before Cliff Pennington won the game in the 16th inning. For the season, Collmenter has pitched 10 2/3 innings and has allowed only a single run against the best team in baseball. His value goes beyond shutting down the Cardinals. Kirk Gibson knows that he can insert Collmenter into any situation and for the most part will get an outstanding effort. The man with the magic beard may not pitch for a week and still come in into a tight spot and get hitters out. For example, his previous appearance before last night was five days earlier on May 30th. Other times, he will go to the mound two out of three days as was the case May 3rd and May 5th. Also, don’t forget his ability to start on short notice. He did that quite a bit in the second half last season and may do so once again if the staff starts to break down.
Collmenter’s numbers this season (2-0, 2.97 ERA, 30 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings) are solid but under the radar. If you would happen to choose an MVP for the D’backs, you would probably go with Goldschmidt or Patrick Corbin or Gerardo Parra. However, do not discount the impact Josh Collmenter has on the D’backs. He is responsible for two huge victories in 2013 directly resulting in the Snakes sitting in first place in the NL West.
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