After a near record-breaking start to his major league career, Diamondbacks’ right hander Chase Anderson has hit a few roadblocks.
Nothing of major concern to all parties but Anderson’s strong opening has now been compromised.
Starting out at 5-0, he suffered his first set-back last Friday to the Dodgers and now the Milwaukee Brewers have made life less than comfortable.
In dropping a 4-1 decision to the Brewers before a matinee crowd of 22,559 in Chase Field Thursday, Anderson has now lost two straight, but that has not detoured his passion nor enthusiasm.
As a team, the Diamondbacks have now dropped seven of their last eight and eight and their past 10 contests.
Still confident and self-assuring, Anderson said he felt fine and in command Thursday. In his previous start against the Dodgers, both Anderson and manager Kirk Gibson felt his fast ball command was off, but both noted a change from his last start in Dodger Stadium.
“Felt good and in a good rhythm,” Anderson said of his effort against the Brewers. “The guys battled hard for me, but we came up a little short.”
While the Diamondbacks gave him generous run support in early outings, Anderson was locked in tight games over his last two starts.
Against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw last Friday, Anderson left trailing 2-1 and the D-backs eventually lost 4-3. Opposing Brewers’ ace Yovani Gallardo on Thursday, Anderson remained competitive but left training 3-1 after six innings of work.
Part of the consequence was poor judgment in his part.
Down 2-1 in the sixth, the Brewers’ shortstop Jean Segura hit a soft bouncer down the third base line. Anderson moved quickly to scoop up the ball but hurried his throw to first in an attempt to get the speedy Segura. In the process, Anderson threw the ball past Paul Goldschmidt and down the first base line. Segura made it to second and scored an important run on a single by Aramis Ramirez.
Still, Gibson said he is more than satisfied with the effort and results thus far from Anderson.
“He’s been solid for us every time out,” Gibson said. “He’s battled and been really good for us. (Thursday), he gave us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask from your starting pitcher.”
Carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning, Anderson surrendered all five hits and three runs, two earned, in the span of two innings. In that stretch, the Brewers picked up a pair in the fifth on three hits and added that unearned run in the sixth.
“I thought my fast ball command was better than last time,” Anderson said. “I worked on that during bullpen sessions.”
Firmly entrenched within the starting rotation, Anderson’s status appears secure. After all, the Diamondbacks can certainly use a starting pitcher who keeps his team in every game.
DIVISION LEADERS NEXT
The National League West Division-leading San Francisco Giants move in to Chase Field for the weekend.
On Friday night, Josh Collmenter (4-4, 4.05 ERA) gets the ball from manager Kirk Gibson and opposes right-hander Tim Lincecum (5-4, 4.81).
For the 7:10 p.m. start Saturday, look for Brandon McCarthy (1-9, 5.18) to go for the D-backs and he takes on right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (4-3, 3.94). On Sunday at 1:10 p.m., Mike Bolsinger (1-2, 5.70), getting his second start since recalled from the minors, gets lefty Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.85) as his mound opponent.
Consider some numbers.
In facing Lincecum on Friday, several Diamondbacks have put up good numbers.
Leading is Paul Goldschmidt, who is hitting .543 (13-for-24) and seven home runs. Aaron Hill is hitting .529 (9-for-17) while Martin Prado is hitting .320 (8-for-28).
Also on Friday, shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitting .250 (4-for-16), outfielder Hunter Pence is hitting .188 (3-for-16) and third baseman Pablo Sandoval is hitting .143 (2-for-14) against Collmenter.
On Saturday, Pence is the only Giants’ player with considerable at-bats against McCarthy, and is hitting .438 (7-for-16) the D-backs’ right-hander.
On Sunday against Bumgarner, Goldschmidt is hitting .238 (5-for-21), Hill is hitting .294 (5-for-17), Prado is hitting .217 (5-for-23), Miguel Montero is hitting .207 (6-for-29), and Gerardo Parra is hitting .133 (2-for-15).
The Cleveland Indians help conclude the current home stand with a two-game series next Tuesday and Wednesdays nights.