Finding the positives in life is often key when the deck gets stacked against you some days.
The Arizona Diamondbacks can certainly attest to that frame of mind, as there was little to write home about in the D-backs’ floundering 21-5 loss to the Houston Astros in the first game of the final series of the season for Arizona Friday night at Chase Field.
The 21 runs scored by the Astros set a Houston franchise record for runs scored in a single game, as well as a franchise record for the D-backs in terms of runs allowed.
However, a brief display of power by rookie outfielder Peter O’Brien served as a hopeful moment to be stashed away for D-backs fans, as a season that has revealed plenty of optimism for the future draws to a close.
The aforementioned moment struck like a lightning bolt in the fifth inning, as O’Brien, pinch hitting for relief pitcher Josh Collmenter, flexed the muscle that has earned him a reputation as one of the top young power hitters in the D-backs’ organization.
Coming off Astros ace and American League Cy Young contender Dallas Keuchel, O’Brien blasted a tape-measure blast to center field that officially serves as the longest home run allowed by Keuchel this season.
The moon shot also marked the first of what figures to be many home runs for O’Brien in his major league career, as that would be the only at-bat the 25-year-old rookie would receive in the game.
Of course, at-bats at the big league level have been few and far between for O’Brien, who has found himself largely stuck behind an outfield logjam featuring established veterans such as A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte and an emerging — if not inconsistent — talent in Yasmany Tomas.
Yet, despite only having five major league plate appearances to his name through Friday, O’Brien has been a stalwart for the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno in 2015, belting 26 home runs and a Pacific Coast League leading 107 RBI to go along with a .284 batting average and a .551 slugging percentage.
Only time will tell if O’Brien can translate those impressive minor league numbers to the big show, but if Friday’s small sampling was any indication, it’s that O’Brien is more than up to the task.
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