Dose of Venom: Diamondbacks’ home struggles pick up where they left off vs. Nationals
It might be time to petition Major League Baseball to allow the Arizona Diamondbacks to wear their road uniforms at home because, once again, everyone but the home team is winning at Chase Field.
The latest chapter: Addison Reed asked to close it out in the ninth and instead allowed a game-tying home run to Danny Espinosa, followed three batters later by a go-ahead pinch-hit home run by Kevin Frandsen.
The end result: A 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals.
The damage assessment: A 3-16 home record compared to a record of 12-10 on the road, where the Diamondbacks just won six of nine.
“I’m locating the ball bad right now and they’re making me pay for it,” Reed said after the game. “Location is everything in pitching and right now I’m just kind of leaving it over the middle of the plate.”
The Diamondbacks rallied twice in this one.
First, they scored three runs on four straight two-out hits in the third to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Then, after starter Josh Collmenter gave up two more runs, the Diamondbacks plated two runs of their own in the sixth, both courtesy A.J. Pollock who homered for the fourth time this season.
“Our offense has been pretty sharp the last week, really,” he said. “They put some runs up on us and then we battled back. That’s baseball.”
Collmenter struggled to get through five innings. And while he only allowed four hits, two were home runs to account for three of the four runs scored against him.
“I was just behind in the count a lot,” said Collmenter, who suffered his first loss in four career starts versus the Nationals. “You want to keep the ball in the ballpark and to give up four runs on four hits, it’s not ideal.”
Chris Owings flashed the leather in the seventh inning. On a ground ball hit sharply into the hole, Owings ranged to his right, slid to make the grab and then fired a one-hop throw to first to beat Anthony Rendon by a half step and end the Nationals’ scoring threat.
More good glove work was had by Aaron Hill in the eighth inning. He dove, extending himself to keep a ground ball from going into center field, robbing Jayson Werth of a base hit. Hill also had three hits after being hitless in his last 12 at-bats.
Brad Ziegler pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning including strikeouts of Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond to extend his scoreless innings streak to 18.1, the longest active streak in the Majors.
Collmenter hit his first career double, grounding the ball into the right field corner. Two batters later, he scored his first run of the season and the Diamondbacks first run of the game.
Gerardo Parra’s two-out ground-rule double in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games.
Pollock’s leadoff single in the fourth inning extended his hitting streak to six straight games.
Paul Goldschmidt snapped a season-high three-game hitless drought by going 1-for-4.
The Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak.
The game was played in front of a season-low 16,555 at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks dropped to 11-1 when leading after eight innings after Reed allowed his fifth and sixth home runs of the season in 19.2 innings pitched.
Three minutes and eight pitches into the game, the Nationals had a 1-0 lead after Rendon’s sacrifice fly scored Denard Span who led off the inning with a triple.
There’s an old saying: “Walks will kill you.”
Collmenter’s lone free pass — a four-pitch walk to Wilson Ramos — scored on Ian Desmond’s two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Parra was robbed of a likely game-tying base hit by Jordan Zimmerman, who protected himself snagging a liner back to the mound for the third out, stranding Pollock at third in the fourth inning.
STAT OF THE GAME
4, 49: The number of home runs the Diamondbacks allowed in the game and have allowed in the season
HE SAID IT
“There’s no controvery here. He’s our closer. He’s done a helluva job for us. Let’s not forget that. It didn’t work out tonight and it sucks,” manager Kirk Gibson said referring to Reed.
• Parra struck out in the third inning, ending a stretch of 34 straight plate appearances without a strikeout.
• Between the first and second innings, the Diamondbacks played a series of highlights on the scoreboard to formally welcome back Matt Williams, an original Diamondbback who is now managing the Nationals.
• Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The two-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury begins its chase for a third title when the team hosts the Seattle Storm at US Airways Center on Saturday, May 17.
Bronson Arroyo looks for this third win in as many starts. He gets the call in game two of the three-games series against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, May 13. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Arroyo (3-2, 4.89) is riding a two-game winning streak, having pitched a combined 14.1 innings without allowing an earned run in beating the Padres and Brewers, both on the road. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.42), who is unbeaten in his last four starts.