Right-hander Zack Godley of the Arizona Diamondbacks lowered his ERA to under two runs per nine innings.
How quickly the name of right-hander Shelby Miller of the Arizona Diamondbacks is shoved to the back burner. You can thank Zack Godley for this movement, and the way Godley has filled in, it may be difficult to remove him from the rotation.
A team player, Godley has said since Day One when he arrived in trade with the Chicago Cubs that we will pitch anywhere and fulfill any role. A starter by trade, Godley told Venom Strikes in spring training he is as comfortable in the bullpen as a starter.
When Miller went down for the season and likely most of next season with Tommy John surgery last month, manager Torey Lovullo tapped Godley as Miller’s replacement. All Godley has done is thrown ground balls, sawed off bats with a devastating sinker and kept his team in games he started. Though he did not receive the win in a 4-2, 10 inning triumph over the Milwaukee Brewers before 25,391 in Miller Park Friday night, Godley tossed six shutout innings and lowered his season ERA to under two runs per nine innings (1.99).
In his latest effort, Godley allowed five hits, walked one and fanned five. He also chipped in with a stellar defensive play that kept the Brewers off the scoreboard.
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In the Milwaukee sixth, the Brewers had Eric Thames on third and Travis Shaw on first. When a Godley pitch bounced to the left of catcher Chris Iannetta, Thames broke for the plate. Iannetta quickly darted out and led Godley perfectly on a throw to reach Thames. Godley then used a swipe tag to get the out, but Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell challenged the call by Jim Reynolds, the plate umpire. When the challenge was denied, Godley came up with the defensive play of the game and Counsell, so irate, was tossed.
After holding the Brewers off the scoresheet, Godley allowed five earned runs in 32 innings of work this season. While Miller made strides to recover from his dreadful 2016 season and chopped over two runs per nine innings from his ERA from last season, Godley has stepped in his place. The result has been as telling as productive.
Godley was always on the Diamondbacks’ radar screen. Coveted from the Cubs, he was obtained in the deal which sent catcher Miguel Montero to Wrigley Field on Dec. 9. 2014.
As a spot starter last season, Godley appeared in 27 games overall (nine starts), compiled a 5-4 mark, but recorded a high 6.39 ERA. Starting the current season at Triple-A Reno, he was called back to the majors on May 10 and quickly started at home against the Detroit Tigers. In that contest, Godley went seven innings, allowed one run and gained a7-1 victory. In his last four starts, Godley has given the Diamondbacks four straight quality starts and offers Lovullo no reason to pull him from the rotation.
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If Godley’s effort presented the Diamondbacks with an opportunity to stay in the game, the offense took advantage. After Jake Lamb’s homer gave Arizona a 1-0 lead, the Brewers responded with single runs in the seventh and eight. Then, Iannetta slammed a dramatic, two-out homer in the ninth to send this into overtime, and the Diamondbacks captured their 10th win in their last 11 contest with a two-run 10th inning.