Arizona Diamondbacks: Godley effective in keeping ball down
By Mark Brown
Right-hander Zack Godley of the Arizona Diamondbacks gained his first win of the season on Wednesday night.
For right-hander Zack Godley of the Arizona Diamondbacks to be effective, he needs to keep the low. Clearly, that’s the mantra of all pitchers, but Godley’s signature pitch is the sinker.
Before his start Wednesday night at home against the Detroit Tigers, Godley told Venom Strikes that once he reaches a comfort level, then he can refine and hit particular quadrants. That was certainly the case Wednesday as Godley was a master at keeping the ball down in the strike zone. In gaining a 7-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers before 18,897 in Chase Field. Godley showed strong pitch economy, but also that penchant for keeping the away from hitters.
With the victory, the Diamondbacks snapped a three-game losing streak, and moved three games above the .500 mark.
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Through the opening five innings, Godley did not allow a ball hit in the air and of the 15 outs recorded up to that point, seven were on the ground, including two double plays.
From that point, Godley continued his mastery of keeping the ball down. Only Justin Upton hit the ball in the air and the former Diamondback was retired on a fly to deep center to end the Detroit seventh. At one point, Godley retired 12 straight from a double play ball in the third until Miguel Cabrera walked to lead off the seventh. As well, Godley allowed no hits from a third inning single to opposing pitcher Matthew Webb until he left the game after seven innings.
Afterward, Godley told Venom Strikes his change effectively set the tone and enabled firm execution.
"The goal was the keep them off-balanced. You always want to attack the zone, get established and move forward. I pounded the strike zone and let the defense do their job."
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks scarcely gave Godley breathing room. With one out in the third, shortstop Nick Ahmed drilled his second homer of the season to tie this one at 1-1, and Arizona squeezed out a go-ahead run later in that frame. With the bases loaded and two outs, Tigers’ catcher James McCann committed a passed ball and that allowed A. J. Pollock to score from third.
Then, a key, two-out, bases loaded single, on an 0-2 pitch, by Pollock in the sixth scored a pair and back-to-back homers by Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury in the seventh helped assure Godley of his first victory of the season.
Godley’s effort was timely. Manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes that the three-game losing streak was wearing and the team sought a lift.
"We needed someone to step up and Zack did exactly that. He kept very dangerous hitters off-balanced and used his fast ball off his change."
Of the most important question, Lovullo clearly avoided. That’s the issue of keeping Godley in the rotation. Against the Tigers, Godley continued his audition and filled in for the injured Shelby Miller, who underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.
"(Godley) did a great job and we’ll continue to look at all options. We want to put ourselves in the best situation for the club."
To make room for Wednesday’s starter Zack Godley on the current 25-man roster, the Diamondbacks placed reliever T. J. McFarland on the 10-day disabled list with a left ankle contusion.
McFarland suffered the injury Tuesday night. That’s when he was hit with a shot off the bat of Tigers’ catcher James McCann. In five games with Arizona, McFarland was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates now move into the desert for a four-game, weekend series.
Righty Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.09 ERA) opens the set against Bucs’ right-hander Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.14) Thursday night. On Friday night, look for lefty Patrick Corbin (2-43.89) to oppose righty Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 6.33). For Saturday, it’s righty Taijuan Walker (3-2, 3.83) taking on right-hander Trevor Williams (1-2, 7.98). In the finale Sunday afternoon, Robbie Ray (2-3, 4.14) opposes right-hander Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.23).
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The New York Mets then arrive for three in Chase Field and that concludes the current home stand.