For Diamondbacks’ left-hander Andrew Chafin, this was not much of a reward.
After impressing the organization with a stellar major league debut, Chafin met the fate of a player on borrowed time. That meant a return trip to the minors and the agony of playing “the waiting game.”
While manager Kirk Gibson was trying to find a way to insert Chafin into his first major league game, the opportunity arrived by mid-week.
After the Diamondbacks’ opener to their current road trip in Cleveland was washed-out Tuesday night, the teams were forced to play a double-header Wednesday night. That meant Gibson had to scramble to find a starter for one of the games and selected Chafin.
Growing up in Kettering, Ohio, about 200 miles from Cleveland, Chafin left more than 60 tickets for Wednesday’s game and friends and family witnessed a rather astonishing debut to The Show.
Going six innings, Chafin shut out the Indians on just three hits, no runs, walked two and fanned three hitters. In throwing 109 pitches, he threw a first-pitch strike to 15 of the 20 hitters he faced and induced 11 ground ball outs.
Eventually, the Diamondbacks pulled out this second game of this twin-bill in the 12th inning. That’s when Tuffy Gosewisch drove a single to center to score pinch runner Xavier Paul and give Arizona a 1-0 victory.
In relief, Randall Delgado picked up the win after taking the loss in the game one. Here, former Arizona farm hand Zach Walters, acquired from Washington at the July 31 trade deadline, drilled a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth and gave the Indians a 3-2 victory.
For Chafin, the hour was bitter-sweet. When he was called up last Friday, the 24-year-old had a combined 8-6 record, 3.96 ERA in 23 starts between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He recorded 102 strike-outs over 132.1 innings pitched.
At the time, Gibson said the Diamondbacks had “a need,” and Chafin was the answer. As things turned out, Chafin represented a very short answer.
After his quality start in Cleveland, Chafin was immediately sent back to Triple-A Reno and did not accompany the team to Miami for a four game series against the Marlins.
“I completely understand it’s for the benefit of the team,” Chafin told the Associated Press after his outing. “Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to come back, but this was a great night that I’ll never forget.”
ON TO SOUTH BEACH
For the up-coming weekend, the Diamondbacks make their annual visit to south Florida.
On Thursday night, Chase Anderson (7-4, 3.05 ERA) goes for the Diamondbacks and takes on right-handed veteran Brad Penney (1-0, 1.80).
For Friday night, Trevor Cahill (2-8, 4.86), off of three straight quality starts, opposes lefty Brad Hand (2-4, 4.65). On Saturday, Wade Miley (7-8, 4.61) gets the ball from Gibson and draws righty Henderson Alvarez (8-5, 2.48) as his mound opponent.
In Sunday’s finale, the match-up includes Josh Collmenter (8-6, 4.09) for Arizona and right-hander Tom Koehler (8-9, 3.86) for the Marlins.
Of the eight starters listed, only Penney has numbers against opposing hitters. Here, Aaron Hill is 4-for-20 (.200) while Miguel Montero is 4-for-13 (.308).
Then, it’s off the nation’s capital and a four-game series with the Nationals to conclude the current road trip.