Just when the Arizona Diamondbacks needed it most, veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo hurled a complete game in a 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night.
Arroyo (4-2) scattered seven hits and struck out seven as he outdueled Washington ace Stephen Strasburg.
The 37-year-old wasn’t only excellent Tuesday — he’s pitched very well in his last four starts, going 3-0 with a minuscule 0.91 ERA in that stretch.
The biggest difference, according to general manager Kevin Towers, is Arroyo’s health.
“He’s healthy,” Towers told Doug and Wolf Wednesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I don’t think he wanted to start the season on the disabled list — he’s never been on the DL, but he had the back problems and I think his shoulder started to bother him because he tried to come back too early from the back. I just think in the first couple weeks, he wasn’t ready.”
The statistics from Arroyo’s first four starts certainly seem to verify what Towers is talking about. In that stretch, he was 1-2 with a hefty 9.50 ERA. Opposing hitters were feasting on him, batting .372 and clubbing five home runs over his 18 innings pitched.
“He didn’t want to go on the DL, and now he’s healthy and I think we’re seeing the real Bronson Arroyo,” Towers said. “I don’t think it’s anything more than just being healthy and feeling good.”
Arroyo’s four wins are tied for seventh in the National League, and Tuesday’s complete game was his first since July 22, 2013 when he threw a shutout in an 11-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.