Fans had plenty to be excited about entering Chase Field today. First, they became part of history as they attended the first game of the first doubleheader ever played in Chase. Secondly, they got to witness the Diamondbacks' young pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs take the mound for the first time in his major league debut. The D-backs, just as we were all hoping, didn't disappoint.
Aaron Hill hit his 18th home run of the season, a two run bomb, in the bottom of the first to get the Diamondbacks on the board and to give his young pitcher some breathing room. That didn't last long, however, as Justin Ruggiano retaliated with a two run blast of his own, knotting the game up at 2-2.
After that, Skaggs was able to bear down and hold back a suddenly hot Marlins offense. Aaron Hill helped his young pitcher yet again by hitting an RBI single to knock Gerardo Parra in after he stole second base. It appeared on replay that Parra was in fact out, even though he was called safe by umpire Jim Joyce. Just another gift from Joyce to the D-backs, it appears.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen got a little hot under the collar in the third after the umpires failed to grant Carlos Lee time when he asked for it. Guillen was then ejected by umpire Angel Campos from the game and play went on, but it was truly an odd sequence of events. It marked Guillen's second ejection of the season.
Things got a little shaky for Skaggs in the top of the sixth when he walked Donovan Solano and Jose Reyes consecutively to open the inning. Luckily, he was able to get Carlos Lee to hit into a double play and he had Giancarlo Stanton pop out to end the inning. He was relieved after 6.2 innings pitched by Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler, David Hernandez and J.J. Putz came on in relief and allowed no runs, helping the Diamondbacks to a 3-2 victory over the Marlins, their first of the series.
Skaggs' final line was 6.2 IP, with 4 strikeouts, 5 walks and 2 earned runs. He had good command over his fastball, which averaged between 92-93 MPH. On top of that, his curveball already seems fully developed and it was quite fun to watch him throw it. He needs to work on his walk rate, but that always comes with time. Overall, a great debut for the young lefty and hopefully, the first of many.