Diamondbacks rotation has turned things around over last 20 games

May 15, 2014, 1:53 AM | Updated: 3:00 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks starting rotation performed alarmingly poorly in its first 23 games of the season.

Then, an unexpected character — who is no longer even in the big leagues — stepped up, played “stopper” and things have been drastically better.

Indeed, before Mike Bolsinger’s 6.2-inning, scoreless outing on April 24 at Wrigley Field, the Diamondbacks staff was mired by a 7.15 earned run average and a collective record of 3-16.

You wouldn’t recognize the staff’s numbers if you saw them over the last 20 games. Or you at least wouldn’t attribute them to a group of 2014 Diamondbacks pitchers.

In 128.2 innings since April 23, Bolsinger, Wade Miley, Bronson Arroyo, Brandon McCarthy, Josh Collmenter and Chase Anderson have combined for a 3.08 ERA. They have garnered eight wins, four losses, a 1.104 walks-and-hits-per-innings-pitched (WHIP) clip and a 5.26 strikeouts-to-walk ratio.

Though allowing 23 home runs in their first 23 starts, Diamondbacks starters have allowed just 14 in their last 20 while putting together a 7.00 K/9 rate. They’re only walking 2.17 opposing hitters per nine innings in that span.

Arroyo made four of those starts and was the team’s best starting pitcher by a long shot in that stretch, allowing just three earned runs in 29.2 innings pitched for the Diamondbacks — good for a 0.91 ERA. On Tuesday, the veteran right-hander tossed a complete game against the Washington Nationals.

Another veteran right-hander, McCarthy, has been rock solid since April 23 as well. With the exception of a poor start against the Chicago White Sox, in which he allowed seven earned runs over 3.1 innings, the 30 year old has been borderline masterful. In his last four starts, McCarthy has a 3.55 ERA and 30 strikeouts spread over 25.1 innings pitched. If you remove his catastrophe in the southside of Chicago, the pitcher has a 1.23 ERA.

Two games after McCarthy’s implosion, rookie Chase Anderson made his major league debut at U.S. Cellular Field and was impressive, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing just a run on two hits while striking out six.

On Friday, Miley will take the mound against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Anthony Misiewicz #72 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during St. Louis Cardinals Ph...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks option LHP Anthony Misiewicz to Triple-A Reno; Corbin Martin to 60-day IL

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded cash considerations to acquire left-handed pitcher Anthony Misiewicz from the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
19 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Kyle Lewis, right, scores after hitting a two-run home run as Los Angeles Dod...
Associated Press

D-backs stun Dodgers with pinch-hit homer in 8th inning

Kyle Lewis had a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Dodgers 2-1 on Friday night.
2 days ago
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

How to watch the Suns, D-backs and Coyotes on Friday

It's going to be a busy night of athletics to end March with three of the Valley's four major sports teams in action on Friday.
2 days ago
Follow @AZSports...
Haboob Blog

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lives every emotion as Dodgers fan proposes on field, gets walloped

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went from celebrating to shock as a Dodgers fan who ran onto the field proposed before getting tackled.
2 days ago
Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers opening pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the...
Arizona Sports

D-backs take issue with new Dodger Stadium LED lights

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo didn't blame the Dodger Stadium LED lights for a loss, but he did not like how they changed during play.
2 days ago
Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Zac Gallen roughed up in Opening Day loss to Dodgers despite 7 Ks

Zac Gallen struggled with the PitchCom device throughout his outing, having to place it back on his glove after it fell off multiple times.
2 days ago
Diamondbacks rotation has turned things around over last 20 games