PHOENIX — If there were any lingering doubts that Chase Anderson was starting to wilt in the desert, logging the most innings in a season of his entire career, he answered them Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
Anderson’s strong pitching helped clinch the series for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who closed out the eight-game home stand with a 6-2 victory.
After giving up a combined 11 runs in his last two starts, the 26-year-old rookie returned to form after an extra day of rest, only allowing a run in six innings and tying a season high with eight strikeouts. But perhaps the most impressive stat of the day was the zero he posted in the base on balls category, especially considering he walked four batters in his last outing.
“My arm felt really good from the get-go, so the confidence was in the back of your head knowing you can throw any pitch for a strike,” said the right-hander after the game.
He was very efficient on the mound against Colorado, only tossing 86 pitches. And even though he was in command, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said he wants to limit the starter’s workload so he can he pitch in September for the first time in his career.
“We scaled him back, so he’s got more life,” said Gibson. “Those other games he was working out of the stretch right away and was grinding his (expletive) off, the fact that he rested up and is more efficient and (will) have more life in his arm.”
Anderson has recorded 137.1 innings pitched this season with the Diamondbacks and their Double-A affiliate. That’s 29 more innings than any of his previous six seasons as a pro. He said after the game that the seven days of rest really gave him a boost.
“I was well-rested. It felt like college days,” said Anderson. “It was good to have a little more life on the fastball. It was a good win.”
Anderson’s eighth win of the season was still in doubt with only a one-run lead after six innings, but the newest member of the Diamondbacks, Nolan Reimold, came through in a pinch. Reimold ended Jorge De La Rosa’s day with a pinch-hit two-run homer that landed in the left field seats. It was Reimold’s first career pinch-hit home run.
The blast helped spark a four-run inning for the D-backs. But Gibson said he isn’t sold on giving Reimold a roster spot just yet.
“Just taking a look at him, giving him an opportunity,” said Gibson. “He got two hits on Saturday (and a) good pinch-hit today, but I wouldn’t say he’s the kind of guy I would throw out there for nine innings right now.”
There was a little intrigue in the ninth inning. Instead of handing the ball to Addison Reed to close things down, Gibson decided to put Matt Stites on the mound. Stites gave up a walk, a double and ultimately a run before finishing the game with the D-backs up four.
Hello Nolan! Reimold, the D-backs’ newest member, destroyed a De La Rosa fastball in the seventh inning for a two-run homer to left field. It was Reimold’s first career pinch-hit home run of his career. The D-backs picked up Reimold off waivers last week, and in just five at-bats, he has three hits — including Sunday’s home run.
Aaron Hill is starting to find his swing again. After going hitless on Saturday, Hill ripped a single and a triple in his first two at-bats. Then in the seventh inning, Hill roped an RBI double down the first-base line, and he finished 3-for-4 on the day with two RBI. Hill was just a homer shy of the cycle. You might remember Hill hit for the recorded the feat twice in 2012. Before Sunday’s game, Hill struggled at the plate in the month of August with just 12 hits and five RBI in 72 plate appearances.
Ender Inciarte flashed the leather in the ninth inning. With two on and one out, Charlie Culberson hit a bullet to center field and Inciarte laid out to snag it. One run scored on the sacrifice fly, but Stites induced a groundout moments later to end the threat.
Anderson’s perfection through three innings came to an immediate end when Charlie Blackmon blasted a 0-1 offering into the right field seats. It’s the 14th homer Anderson has given up with the D-backs.
STAT OF THE GAME
3: The Diamondbacks pitchers combined to only allow the Rockies to have three base runners in scoring position. The Rockies went 0-for-3 in those instances, although they did log a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
HE SAID IT
“Not walking guys and giving them free passes (and) knowing they have to earn it makes it easier on a pitcher because you know you can just go after the guys.” – Anderson on not allowing a walk
– With Sunday’s win against the Rockies, the D-backs have won eight of the two teams’ last 10 meetings.
– The D-backs seem to look their best at the plate when De La Rosa is on the mound for the Rockies. The Colorado starter is now 0-4 against the D-backs in the last five matchups, including three straight losses and an ERA well over 5.00.
– After only totaling eight hits in the first two games of the series, the D-backs peppered the field with 11 on Sunday against the Rockies.
The D-backs will be in San Diego on Labor Day to begin a four-game series against the Padres. It’s the start of a 10-game road trip that includes visits to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Trevor Cahill will get the nod Monday, hoping to rebound from a recent rough outing against the Dodgers, in which gave up six runs and was chased off the mound in the fourth inning. In his four starts at San Diego’s Petco Park, Cahill has been solid with a 1.71 ERA, allowing only five earned runs in 26.1 innings.
The Padres will counter with Tyson Ross. The right-hander has had a rollercoaster of season at 12-12, and he has not been able to beat the D-backs in three starts against them. In 19 innings pitched against Arizona, Ross has allowed 10 runs and 21 hits.
First pitch for the series opener is scheduled at 1:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.