If the Arizona Diamondbacks are serious about making any sort of playoff push, they need to find ways to win series.
And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing lately.
Entering this weekend’s matchup with the New York Mets, Chip Hale’s squad had taken four of their previous five series. And following a 2-1 victory on Saturday night, the worst they can do is split this four-game set with New York.
Welington Castillo cracked his first home run as a Diamondback, Chris Owings extended his hitting streak to 10 games and Chase Anderson delivered a nice bounceback effort on the mound as Arizona edged the Mets 2-1 in front of 30,265 fans — and 538 dogs on Bark at the Park Night — at Chase Field.
With the win, the D-backs inched to within one game of .500 on the year (27-28) and remained 4.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first in the NL West.
Both starting pitchers put together admirable efforts in this one. Anderson was coming off his worst outing of the year (six earned runs over five innings in Milwaukee on May 31) but stepped up to give Arizona a solid 5.2 innings to work with. From there, the bullpen took over and completely slammed the door on the Mets.
For New York, Bartolo Colon was going for his MLB-leading ninth win, and it looked for a while like he might get it. In just his second career start against the Diamondbacks, he cruised through 6.2 innings before allowing a single to Owings. At that point, Castillo quickly endeared himself to his new teammates by clubbing what proved to be the game-winning home run just over the left field wall.
Anderson rebounded nicely from his struggles against the Brewers last week, giving the D-backs 5.2 solid innings tonight. Other than a first pitch solo home run off the bat of Juan Lagares in the second, he essentially cruised through the first five frames, coaxing Mets hitters into double plays to squelch rallies in the first and fourth.
In all, Arizona turned four double plays — obviously a pivotal stat in a one-run contest. Meanwhile, Anderson has now made 11 starts on the year, allowing two runs or fewer in eight of those outings.
Randall Delgado entered the game at a critical juncture and came up big for Arizona. He took the mound with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, and kept the score at 1-0 by getting Eric Campbell to fly out to Ender Inciarte in right.
The Diamondbacks continued to work their two-out magic in the seventh, when Owings singled with two gone and Castillo followed with a timely two-run shot to left. For Castillo, he couldn’t have picked a better time to hit his first home run with his new club. For the D-backs, the hit drove in runs No. 114 and 115 with two outs this season, the highest total for any Major League team in that category.
For all the good Anderson did tonight, it should probably be noted that he did allow a base hit off the bat of Colon in the fifth. Why is that a big deal? Because this is Colon’s 18th Major League season, and that was his 16th career hit (.088 career average).
Chip Hale was handed the first ejection of his managerial career for “excessive arguing” after a called third strike to Paul Goldschmidt ended the sixth inning.
STAT OF THE GAME
17: That’s the number of consecutive games in which Goldschmidt has safely reached base. He kept the streak alive by drawing an intentional walk in the eighth, and has now walked 22 times during this stretch — including nine times in his last five games.
HE SAID IT
“They [the umpires] will let you say a few words, and then once I started motioning, I think that he had enough. That’s his job. I just went out and told him, “Hey, if Goldy argues I know it’s not the right call because he really knows the strike zone.” But I know how hard it is to umpire.” – Hale on getting ejected after the sixth inning
As a team, the Diamondbacks have now homered in 13 of their last 15 games.
Yasmany Tomas has hit safely in five straight contests, and 18 of his last 21. He’s also registered a hit in eight of his last nine games at Chase Field.
Arizona reinstated Jake Lamb from the 15-day DL and designated Jordan Pacheco for assignment. Lamb entered the game in the eighth and promptly turned a game-ending double play in the ninth.
Dominic Leone was optioned to Double-A Mobile following the game, and David Hernandez will be reinstated Sunday.
The two clubs will wrap up this four-game series at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon. Josh Collmenter will take the mound for Arizona, while New York counters with Jacob deGrom.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.
Collmenter (3-5) will be looking for his first win since a 13-7 victory in Colorado back on May 6. He scattered three earned runs over 5.2 innings in his last outing on June 2, but didn’t factor into the decision as the Diamondbacks rallied to knock off the Braves 7-6.
For the Mets, deGrom (6-4) will be making his first ever start against Arizona. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year has won his last three decisions, including a 7-0 shutout of the Padres in San Diego on June 1. He was dominant in that game, allowing just two hits while striking out eight over eight innings.
Following Sunday’s contest, the D-backs will begin their longest road trip of the season so far: an eight-game excursion through California that will take them to Dodger Stadium (June 8-10), AT&T Park (June 12-14) and Angel Stadium (June 15 and 16).