Not even Bronson Arroyo could stop the bleeding.
As the most experienced pitcher on the Diamondbacks staff, there was a hope, maybe a faint hope, that Arroyo, with 13 years experience in the major leagues, could find some way to relieve the Diamondbacks of their current misery.
With the Diamondbacks sporting the worst record in the majors, Arroyo was asked to apply a tourniquet. Instead, the opened the wound further and blood cascaded over the D-backs faint, life-support monitor.
In the end, Arroyo was unable to provide any relief the Diamondbacks so desperately seek. Not lasting through the fourth inning, the native of Key West, Fla. allowed a disastrous 10 hits, nine runs and threw 64 pitches. From the beginning, this was a catastrophe of melt-down proportion.
Arroyo now drops to 1-1 and an ERA of 9.95. That makes three Arizona starters, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Arroyo all with ERAs above 7.78.
The result was predictable and ended in a 9-0 defeat to the New York Mets before 21,969 in Chase Field. The loss extended the D-backs' losing streak to five and left Arizona with a 1-9 home record, including the two losses in Australia. It is also the worst 17 game start for the Diamondbacks in franchise history (4-13).
“It was terrible and we needed something better,” Arroyo said. “I tried to be aggressive with (the Mets) but I didn’t expect them to hit they way they did. In the fourth, I couldn’t put guys away. Right now, things are not good for this team and not good enough to win at this level.”
The first inning foreshadowed the debacle. Arroyo gave up singles to the first three hitters and left the opening frame down 3-0. Things then became progressively worse.
In the fourth, Arroyo was charged with six more runs. Two came on a two-run home run off the bat of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, recalled earlier in the day from Triple A Las Vegas, a two run single from Eric Young, Jr., a single from Daniel Murphy and an error from Arizona centerfielder A. J. Pollock that allowed Young to cross the plate.
“(Arroyo) got the ball up too often,” was the assessment of manager Kirk Gibson. “That’s not what he expected out of his start.”
In the meantime, Mets’ starter Jenrry Mejia started the game by retiring the first nine Diamondbacks. By the time Gerardo Parra walked to lead off the fourth, Arizona was down 9-0, and faced another night of hopelessness.
“It’s not fun right now,” said A. J. Pollock, who had one of the three hits on the night. “Look, we have to keep battling and hope something turns this around.”
The offense was pathetic as the pitching.
On the night, the Diamondbacks managed just those three hits and had two runners in an inning only twice. Among the hits, Paul Goldschmidt rolled a grounder between Mets’ third baseman David Wright and the bag for a fourth inning single, Pollock beat out an infield single with two outs in the fifth, and Chris Owings beat out another infield single with two outs in the seventh.
That adds up to only five runners left on and zero offense. Still, Gibson says players remain optimistic.
“On the bench, guys were telling one another that this is our night,” he said. “They believed they would come back and win this. It’s encouraging that they remain positive.”
The current home stand ends Wednesday afternoon with Brandon McCarthy (0-2, 7.78 ERA) taking on the Mets’ Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.03 ERA).
Then, the D-backs hit the road for a three game, weekend series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and a four game set with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
They return home April 25 to face the Phillies and Rockies in a six-game home stand.
Of the 17 games to date, the Diamondbacks have only two “quality starts” from their starters.
To make sure he gets innings from McCarthy, his Wednesday starter and the bullpen has an opportunity to rest, Gibson said McCarthy will throw at least 100 pitches in his start against the Mets.