Arizona Diamondbacks fall to Pittsburgh in series opener: By the Numbers
The Pittsburgh Pirates have had the Arizona Diamondbacks’ number at Chase Field over the last few years, and Friday was no exception.
After throwing a complete-game shutout in San Francisco exactly a week ago, D-backs starter Josh Collmenter immediately gave up a hit to leadoff man Josh Harrison. Collmenter would give up another hit and the first run of the game before the inning was over, and then he allowed three hits and two runs in the following frame.
The right-handed starter would settle down after that point, but the Pirates enjoyed their three-run lead for a majority of the night.
Pittsburgh and Arizona actually turned an equal amount of hits, but the Pirates held on for a 4-1 victory in the weekend series opener. Collmenter fell to 1-3 on the season, while Pirates starter Gerrit Cole improved to 3-0 after going 7.2 innings and allowing seven hits and one earned run with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Pirates actually began the evening with a worse record, but they bumped theirs up to 9-8, while Arizona fell to 8-8.
Here’s a look at Friday’s matchup at Chase, by the numbers:
Pirates star center fielder Andrew McCutchen had a quiet night, continuing his quiet season. The four-time All-Star finished the game 0-for-3 with one walk, one run scored and one strikeout. He’s now batting .189 on the season with just two home runs and 10 RBI.
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The lone Diamondbacks run scored came in pretty thrilling fashion, as Paul Goldschmidt slid by a throw to Francisco Cervelli at the plate in the sixth inning.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) April 25, 2015
The umpires even reviewed the play and still called Goldschmidt safe, giving the first baseman his team-leading 14th run scored of the year. The two-time All-Star finished the game 1-for-3 with one walk, his average increasing slightly to .298.
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Rookie third baseman Yasmany Tomas recorded a couple of firsts late in the contest. The 24-year-old slugger took his first career base on balls with two outs in the eighth inning, and then after Cole was taken out of the game, Tomas beat a throw to second for his first stolen base in the big leagues. He’d stay stranded at second after Chris Owings struck out to end the frame. Tomas finished the game 1-for-3 and is carrying a .400 batting average.
Mark Trumbo continues to contribute at the plate for the Diamondbacks. After tallying three hits in the two-game series against Texas, Trumbo notched the D-backs’ only extra-base hit Friday: a ground-rule double to right-center field, his second two-bagger of the year. The right fielder finished the contest 1-for-4 with one strikeout, his batting average now at .286.
Owings had his best game of the season in the Diamondbacks’ win Wednesday vs. Texas, and he followed that up by doing some damage Friday. The second baseman hit up the middle in the sixth inning, which scored Goldschmidt from second. It would be the D-backs’ lone RBI of the night, and Owings’ seventh of the season. He finished the evening 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, and is now batting .222.
Evan Marshall had an up-and-down multi-inning appearance to close out the game for the D-backs. The relief pitcher allowed one hit, one walk and one earned run in his first inning of work, the fourth time in seven appearances he’s given up at least one run this season. However, he only allowed a walk in the ninth inning, and his ERA dropped from 9.00 to 7.71 just with that scoreless frame. The right-hander tossed 31 pitches in two innnings, striking out one batter.
The two teams don’t face each other often in the regular season, but the Pirates have had some success in recent years at Chase Field. Friday’s win gave Pittsburgh its seventh win in its last 11 contests at the Phoenix venue — dating back to the 2012 season.
In four at-bats, center fielder A.J. Pollock got one of the D-backs’ seven hits, and he has now hit safely in the last eight games in which he’s started. He’d have an overall eight-game hitting streak if it weren’t for the pinch-hit appearance he made last Saturday in San Francisco — a strikeout. The right-handed hitter is 14-for-33 over his last nine appearances, and he has a .351 batting average on the season.
Collmenter’s streak of nine scoreless innings pitched immediately came to an end in the first frame, but he truly gained his footing starting in the third inning. The 29-year-old right-hander retired 12 straight batters before giving up a double to the first batter of the seventh inning and being pulled after that. Collmenter was able to turn in a solid start despite taking the loss, going six-plus innings while giving up six hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts. His 86 pitches were his second-lowest total of the season, and his ERA jumped slightly to 3.65 with the performance.
Not a single Pirates batter walked against Collmenter in just over six innings, and Pittsburgh didn’t earn its first base on balls of the game until Brad Ziegler intentionally walked Jordy Mercer in the seventh frame. The visitors ended up walking three times on the evening. Collmenter has now gone a career-best 19 straight starts with allowing two or fewer walks against opponents.
Ziegler made his franchise-record-tying 253rd appearance in the game, sharing the mark with pitcher Jose Valverde. The veteran right-hander, as usual, had a solid outing Friday, pitching two-thirds of an inning while only giving up an intentional walk. The 35-year-old reliever has yet to relinquish a run this season in seven appearances.
Friday’s game at Chase was just over half full, with 24,427 fans taking in the series opener. That number was better than the Diamondbacks’ preceding two games against Texas, but lower than the crowd of 27,404 who saw their previous Friday home game — two weeks ago vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.