The Arizona Diamondbacks began a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field Monday night and took the opener 3-0. Rookie starter Josh Collmenter continued his dominance of Milwaukee, going eight innings for his fifth win (5-5) of the season.
David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
It was Collmenter's second consecutive strong outing against the Brewers, as he pitched six scoreless innings in his last start before the All-Star break. In his eight innings of work, he struck out seven hitters and allowed only three hits. He threw 105 pitches and did not walk a man.
Manager Kirk Gibson described the performance, saying Collmenter "threw an exceptional game" and that he "pounded the zone." After saying in his pregame press conference that he was hoping for a complete game from his young pitcher, it never was really an option.
He even considered pulling him after the seventh inning, but decided to let him go back out because Collmenter wanted back out. "You just worry about sometimes doing the right things with these guys," Gibson explained. "But after the eighth inning, we knew he was done and we were going to put David (Hernandez) in. We just didn't want Josh to get in to any trouble."
"I think today was a combination of everything I can do as a pitcher," said Collmenter of his start. "I really had everything working, in and out, changing speeds and that's the key to my game."
Collmenter also continued with his development, adding a curveball a little bit, even getting one strikeout on it. With some chatter by fans and the media that he might be better suited to pitch out of the bullpen and perhaps shore up the middle relief hole the team has, a performance like this demonstrates how important he is as a starter.
Randy Wolf allowed one run unearned run in the third inning, as Henry Blanco scored when Gerardo Parra grounded into a double play and was pretty dominant until the sixth, when he got hit hard. After striking out Parra, Justin Upton was robbed of a hit at the left-center field wall. Chris Young then hit a double and Ryan Roberts homered.
Roberts was looking inside for a pitch from Wolf, because, "the two ABs before he was pitching me in and I got jammed," he explained, noting he did get a hit off of one. "I just told myself I'd sit on one pitch and try to get my timing down on one pitch and not be late."
As Wolf had been hit hard by the two previous batters, Roberts did not believe that his stuff was really any different. "He might have been frustrated, I don't know," Roberts said, "but I just knew he was coming in."
Wolf (6-7) pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and one walk, striking out three and making two throwing errors.
The win was the third in a row for the Diamondbacks, who now sit at 52-44 on the season. With a win by the San Francisco Giants over the LA Dodgers,