Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter was terrible at the start of the season as a starter. He couldn ot get guys out or miss hitters' bats. It led to his being moved to the bullpen, where he turned things around nicely. IN 10 games in relief, he pitched 22.2 innings with an ERA of 1.19.
When Daniel Hudson went down for the rest of the season with a torn UCL ligament in his right elbow, manager Kirk Gibson turned back to Collmenter to start in his place against the Milwaukee Brewers.
His effectiveness in the pen was a big reason for the decision, but there had to be another factor to give him the start against the Brewers -- and that would be his success against them.
Coming into this season, in three career starts against the Brewers, including one in postseason, Collmenter has completely dominated them. The numbers are impressive -- 21 innings pitched, one run allowed, eight hits and 16 strikeouts.
He even had three scoreless innings in his final spring training start against them.
So on Sunday, it was no surprise when Collmenter did it again. He threw six innings, allowed one run on three hits and struck out five.
He did allow two runs in a relief appearance this season against them in 1.1 innings, but the overall stats are pretty solid. 28.1 innings, four runs allowed. That would be a stellar 1.27 ERA.
Gibson knew what he was doing. He set up Collmenter with a start that ideally would give him the best chance for success moving forward. Gibby has done nothing but sing praises of the right-hander as a reliever, saying how he is perfect for that role. However, it was last season and the start of this season when he was defending him as a starter.
Now, he has some success to build on. He will get at least one more shot, as he will start against the Dodgers on Thursday.
If he pitches well and can stay in the rotation, I'm sure we will go back to hearing Gibson talking about how effective and good he is as a starter. That's just the way things go.
Can you explain his dominance of the Brewers? Not really. But when that sort of thing happens, you just roll with it.
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