Centerfielder A.J. Pollock of the Arizona Diamondbacks did it all in a one run loss to Cincinnati Sunday afternoon.
For the second game in a row, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense could not come up with a big hit. Centerfielder A.J. Pollock certainly did his part.
The former All-Star joined the team for the series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last week. Despite struggling, Pollock flashed his true colors for the first time at Chase Field Sunday since leaving the disabled list with a groin injury.
The 29-year-old starred at the plate, on the base paths and in the field. It was an encouraging sign for field manager Torey Lovullo and Pollock’s teammates. There is an argument Pollock may be injured too often. When Pollock is on the field, he is one of the most valuable players in the major leagues.
In the third inning, Pollock evened the game at 1-1. Against Cincinnati Reds’ starter Homer Bailey, Pollock hit a solo shot just to the right of the pool. In the first inning, Pollock led off with a walk. With Paul Goldschmidt batting and one out, Pollock stole his 12th base of the season. Neither Goldschmidt nor Jake Lamb could not get him home.
Then in the fifth, Pollock reached on a fielders choice. With David Peralta batting, Pollock stole his second bag of the day. Runners were at second and third with two outs, but Peralta struck out on a 3-2 pitch by Bailey.
Earlier with one out in the fourth and Scott Schebler at the plate, Pollock robbed the Reds’ right fielder with a diving catch.
For the afternoon, the rest of the lineup put up zeros. That is how the last week went. In their last 11 games before the All-Star break, the Diamondbacks went 3-8. The long ball by Pollock was Arizona’s first run in their last 12.1 innings against the Reds.
Entering the break
Given production from the first half, the lineup will get going again. Considering Arizona started out so fast, the break is probably just what the doctor ordered. Luvullo hopes the break does not slow down Pollock.
With the trade deadline approaching, some have said the Diamondbacks should trade Pollock. General manager Mike Hazen’s club could use a reliever for the stretch run. Since breaking out in 2015, Pollock has not played consistently.
However, the Diamondbacks are competing for a playoff spot. At this point, it would be hard to trade Pollock. The Hebron, Conn. native is a leader in the clubhouse and gets the job done on the field.
During his career, Pollock has proven he likes to go all out on every play. The Diamondbacks believe that is one reason he has been prone to injuries. As a result, Lovullo has requested Pollock to slow it down sometimes. Since returning from the disabled list, Pollock has also not played everyday.
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Veteran Gregor Blanco did a great job filling in for Pollock. The former San Francisco Giant is one reason why the Diamondbacks won games without Pollock. At 33-years-old, Blanco cannot be expected to play everyday. Plus, the Diamondbacks are better with Pollock in the lineup and in center field.