Arizona Diamondbacks rookie left-hander Alex Young was stellar in his Chase Field debut, allowing one batter over the minimum as he held the slumping Colorado Rockies to no hits for six innings. Nick Ahmed hit a two-run home run as part of a four-run sixth Sunday afternoon as the Diamondbacks sweep the Rockies with a 5-3 victory in front of 22,964.
Removed with a No-Hitter in Tact
In Young’s second big league start and third ever appearance, the 25-year-old left-hander struck out three, helping ensure the Diamondbacks sweep. He threw 71 pitches and lowered his ERA to 0.68. Though he had not given up a hit and was “cool and calm” like a veteran MLB pitcher, in a surprise move Young was removed by Manager Torey Lovullo due to pitch count. Right-hander Yoshi Hirano entered the game in the seventh inning to a chorus of boos from the Chase Field fans who wanted to see Young continue. The jeers grew in volume when Rockies shortstop Trevor Story swung at Hirano’s first-pitch and beat it out for an infield single.
Some Good Statistics
Young’s six no-hit innings matched the longest to open a game by a Diamondbacks pitcher this season. Zack Greinke did it on June 13 against the Washington Nationals. It was also the 18th time a Diamondbacks pitcher threw at least six hit less innings to start a game. Young also became only the second Diamondbacks rookie to throw six hit less innings—the other being Edgar Gonzalez back in 2004. He is also just the seventh pitcher since Arizona came into the league in 1998, to have a hit less start for any team in his first three major-league appearances.
Base Running was the Key
The Diamondbacks were excellent on the base paths. Ketel Marte led off with a walk then Eduardo Escobar dropped a “bloop” single to right field. Not only did Marte take extra bases, but Escobar was able to advance to second when Charlie Blackmon’s throw towards third was off line from the cut-off man. That put an extra man in scoring position. Then Christian Walker followed with a hit and picked up two RBI. For a team that has struggled with runners in scoring position it was good to see the team doing the little things right.
The Rest of the Game
Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer and Eduardo Escobar finished a homer shy of the cycle. Andrew Chafin pitched the eighth giving up a two-run home run to spoil the shutout. Greg Holland pitched the ninth and gave up a home run, though only a solo shot. He then settled down to get the next three hitters and earned his 14th save. The Diamondbacks swept the Rockies in a three-game series at home for the first time since September 12-14, 2016. Total attendance for the three-game series was 94,296.
No more Diamondbacks games until Friday due to the All-Star break. Then, they are off to St. Louis for a three-game series with wild-card implications. No mention on who will be pitching but Zack Greinke who opted out of the All-Star game most likely will start that series’ opener.