Josh Collmenter is making the Arizona Diamondbacks feel pretty good about at least three members of the club's five-man starting rotation.
After Friday night's seven-inning shutdown of the Washington Nationals, in which Collmenter blanked the DCers on three hits in a 4-0 victory, Collmenter has made five starts in which he's allowed two or fewer earned runs, five or fewer hits and two or fewer walks. He walked one Friday.
His motion left even veteran All-Star hitters like Pudge Rodriguez wondering what he was seeing.
"He has a very strange windup. He hides the ball very well and has a great changeup," Rodriguez said. "When you have a guy that throws way over the top and has a great changeup like that, nine or 10 miles an hour less, it is pretty tough to hit."
Collmenter more than did his part, and Stephen Drew provided the run support with a bases-loaded triple in the bottom of the fifth inning that cleared the bases. Chris Young hit a solo home run in the second to open the scoring and leads the NL in extra-base hits with 30
The Diamondbacks are 17-4 in their last 21 games though they remained half a game out of first place in the NL West after San Francisco won.
Collmenter's outing was his longest of the season and his pitch count (103) the second-highest.
"We really needed it. Our bullpen's tired," manager Kirk Gibson said.
The only negative of the evening was Justin Upton getting hit with pitches twice.
"Hit him on the arm. He can take it. He's got a badge of honor, he can wear it around," Gibson said. "It's not a big deal. He's great about it. He took it. I think it's a bit of respect, that's the way I look at it. He's been on fire since Sunday in Houston. I wouldn't want to pitch to him either."