Charlie Blackmon – Achilles Heel for the Diamondbacks
In the top of the ninth Tuesday night at Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks held an 8-6 lead over the visiting Colorado Rockies. Archie Bradley had come in the game to pitch the ninth. The first batter he faced was a pinch hitter – All-Star right fielder Charlie Blackmon. A collective groan rose from the press box, but it wasn’t simply because he was hitting .327 up to that point. It wasn’t only because of his 33 doubles, seven triples, or 27 home runs he had hit up to that point, either. Nor was it only because he had homered in three straight games. Those all factored in, yes, but the writers groaned because Charlie Blackmon has spent his career TERRORIZING Diamondbacks pitching. They knew what was coming.
Bradley’s first pitch to Blackmon missed outside for ball one, then he threw two called strikes. Blackmon fouled off the next pitch to the right side, staying alive. The fifth pitch barely missed high and tight, drawing the count even at 2-2. The writers held their collective breath, waiting for the guillotine to drop.
Bradley wound up, kicked, and fired. Blackmon swung at the fastball over the outside corner.
He lifted a screaming line drive deep to left. The writers sighed. Some put their heads down. Others groaned. All that remained was to see what row it would land in. Then left fielder David Peralta jumped, nicking the ball with the tip of his glove. It rebounded off the wall, hit Peralta’s knee, hit the wall again, and trickled toward the line. Peralta quickly scooped it up and fired it to the infield, holding Blackmon to a double.
Charlie Blackmon – Career against the Diamondbacks
The miracle wasn’t that Peralta held Blackmon to a double. It was that Blackmon’s hit didn’t leave the park. He hit that ball HARD. Eventually, he scored, to no surprise of many, although the Diamondbacks hung on for the win. As mentioned before, this is not the first time he has given them fits. For example, in the Diamondbacks’ 20th anniversary game on March 31, 2018 – one that this author attended – the Diamondbacks lost, 2-1. The two runs came thanks to two solo home runs by Blackmon off Zack Greinke and Fernando Salas. It doesn’t matter who the pitcher is. Blackmon eats them all for breakfast.
He first came into the big leagues with the Rockies in 2011, spending 27 games with the team. He then played 42 with them in 2012 and 82 in 2013 before becoming a regular in 2014. Being in the National League West, he, of course, has seen the Diamondbacks a lot through his career. In that time, he has destroyed them.
Charlie Blackmon – Career Batting against the Rest of the National League
|San Diego Padres||123||114||525||479||87||154||25||8||27||66||20||7||36||85||.322||.380||.576||.956||276||5||9||1||0||1||5||.346||118|
|St. Louis Cardinals||36||35||162||153||27||49||10||3||5||18||6||2||5||28||.320||.350||.523||.873||80||0||2||2||0||0||2||.367||100|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||120||111||495||446||68||137||22||6||13||43||16||5||33||79||.307||.367||.471||.838||210||3||11||2||3||1||7||.347||94|
|New York Mets||43||40||183||165||31||48||12||1||7||18||7||1||14||23||.291||.357||.503||.860||83||2||3||1||0||3||1||.304||98|
|San Francisco Giants||124||108||520||473||82||125||25||6||15||53||9||8||35||91||.264||.317||.438||.755||207||4||4||3||5||1||8||.296||74|
No one can really say why his career average against the Diamondbacks is 33 points higher than it is against everyone. Blackmon is an enigma. He hits far better at Coors Field (.352) than away from there (.262) – something else that is tough to explain. One thing is for sure, though – the Diamondbacks are glad that they don’t have to face him anymore this season.
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