Arizona Diamondbacks: Corbin struggles, offense stymied by Anderson
By Joseph Jacquez
The Arizona Diamondbacks dropped the middle game of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies
From pitch one, left-hander Patrick Corbin did not have his stuff. The Colorado Rockies took advantage and blasted the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-1, at Coors Field in Denver.
Corbin made few mistakes in the middle of the plate, but Rockies’ hitters were seemingly on every fastball and did not chase sliders out of the zone. The Diamondbacks’ southpaw tried to finish five innings, but Rockies left-fielder Ian Desmond led off the fifth with a single and manager Torey Lovullo pulled the plug.
Rockies’ right fielder Gerardo Parra drove in Desmond with a single which closed the book on Corbin. The left-hander allowed eight earned runs on nine hits in four innings, struck out three and walked one. The Clay, New York native aimed to build a shutout of Colorado at Chase Field last Sunday, but he fell to 2-4 in 2017 and his ERA jumped from 2.29 to 3.89.
Diamondbacks’ ace Zack Greinke stopped a mini two-game losing streak Friday night and the offense supported him with six runs, but Corbin and the offense both struggled Saturday. After ending April with a walk-off win, Arizona has dropped three of their first four games in May.
It was a strange night for the Diamondbacks lineup. Before the game, Chris Owings was scratched with the flu. Nick Ahmed got the start at shortstop and landed in the two-hole. Right fielder Gregor Blanco made his first start as a Diamondback and batted eighth.
After tagging Rockies starter Tyler Anderson for three home runs at Chase Field last week, the Diamondbacks hit zero balls into the outfield against the southpaw. The only ball hit in the air for an out was a line drive right to shortstop Trevor Story off the bat of catcher Chris Iannetta.
Anderson tied a career high with ten strikeouts and the Diamondbacks struck out 13 times. Despite the lack of hard contact, Arizona had chances to take control of the game early.
After A.J. Pollock grounded out on the first pitch, Ahmed reached base on a swinging bunt and moved to second when Anderson threw the ball away. Paul Goldschmidt followed by reaching base on a swinging bunt to the same spot on the third base line. The ball rolled on the grass but didn’t have enough momentum to cross into foul territory.
With Jake Lamb batting, a wild pitch advanced Goldschmidt to second, but Lamb and Tomas struck out to end the threat. Second baseman Brandon Drury led off the second with a double. Chris Iannetta singled and Gregor Blanco blasted a line drive RBI single into right-center. Drury and Blanco’s hits were the only Arizona knocks out of the infield. Corbin tried to bunt the runners to second and third, but his bunt rolled right to Anderson and he forced out Iannetta at third. Pollock grounded into
Second baseman Brandon Drury led off the second with a double. Chris Iannetta singled and Gregor Blanco blasted a line drive RBI single into right-center. Corbin tried to bunt the runners to second and third, but his bunt rolled right to Anderson and he forced out Iannetta at third. Pollock grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
After that, the Diamondbacks managed just two hits over the final seven innings. In the third, Nick Ahmed reached first on a ball deflected by third baseman Nolan Arenado. In the ninth, Yasmany Tomas‘ reached first on yet another swinging bunt single.
Lovullo talked with MLB.com about the rough night at the plate.
"I think it was a tough night all the way around. We had runners in scoring position, but we didn’t push any runs across."
Corbin allowed four of his eight runs and threw 39 of his 71 pitches in the first inning. The first three Colorado batters reached base and Mark Reynolds hit a two-run home run after a wild pitch scored second baseman D.J. LeMathieu.
Afterward, Colorado manager Bud Black told FanSided’s roxpile.com that his team had a recent history with Corbin.
"We saw him last week and (Corbin) was tough on us. (On Saturday), I thought we swung the bats well and stayed on the attack. Look, there is no secret to pitching well at the major league level. You have to make pitches."
Reliever Andrew Chafin struck out five in two scoreless innings. T.J. McFarland pitched the final two innings and allowed an earned run on three hits. Rockies reliever Chris Rusin earned the save because he pitched the final three innings.
Another oddity: All five pitchers that appeared in the game were southpaws.
WP: Anderson (2-3)
LP: Corbin: (2-4)
SV: Rusin (1)
HR: Reynolds (10), Arenado (8)
The Flu Bug
The flu bug has been around the Diamondbacks since spring training. It has bit David Peralta, Owings, Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury lately.
Regardless if the team’s lack of offense has anything to do with the bug, it is having an impact. Lovullo spoke with MLB.com about the flu’s impact.
"It’s a lot of congestion, heavy chest, maybe a little bit of fever. It has been passed around. We feel like we’re at the tail end of it again. A little bit frustrating. I know every team has had to deal with it. We’re not exempt from anything. We know that the game throws you some curveballs every once in a while, and it’s how you adjust to those and how you fight through that moment that will help you to the next situation."
- Paul Goldschmidt did not collect an RBI against the Rockies at Coors Field for the first time in six games. The streak tied the franchise record set by Luis Gonzalez in 1999 from May 21 to Sept. 22.
- Zack Greinke limited the Rockies to two runs on Friday. Take out his outing against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine and his season ERA is under 2.30.
- Rubby De La Rosa made another rehab appearance for Visalia Friday. The right-hander pitched an inning of hitless, scoreless relief and touched 99 mph on the radar gun.
- Right-hander Jake Barrett will make another rehab appearance for the Rawhide on Sunday.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Pitching forms the core of early success"
The Diamondbacks are now 1.5 GB of Colorado for first place in the National League West. Arizona will try to win the series finale Sunday afternoon and avoid a third straight series loss.
Look for right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-1, 4.19 ERA) to oppose right-hander Tyler Chatwood (2-4, 5.40 ERA).
FanSided’s roxpile.com contributed to his report.
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