A wild pitch, an errant throw home, and a strained left hamstring. That’s all it took to knock Rockies starter Roy Oswalt out of the game, and awaken the Diamondback offense.
Oswalt, a veteran playing in his 13th year, heard his left hamstring pop after attempting to force a play at homeplate following his wild pitch. And though Edgmer Escalona, who relieved Oswalt, finished off the bottom of the 2nd inning, that damage soon came at Arizona’s next opportunity.
After D-Backs starting pitcher Patrick Corbin and outfielder Gerardo Parra got on base, Aaron Hill smacked a double to chase both runners home. The next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, then verified his all-star status with another double to left, summing up the crucial, 3-run 3rd inning for Arizona.
The turning point in the game was clearly established: after Oswalt’s exit, four of the next five batters reached base. This initiated a decisive 3-run effort, as the inning served as the most impactful in Arizona’s 6-1 victory.
All that was left was for the Diamondbacks’ other all-star, Patrick Corbin, to sustain the lead and potentially reach an elusive 10th victory.
After yielding two baserunners in the 1st inning, Corbin was as sharp as ever: the southpaw retired the next 12 batters, and 20 of the following 21 Rockies he faced. And though Corbin allowed a surprising solo homer in the 8th inning, the impressive and reassuring outing had already been determined: only 4 Colorado hitters reached base in Corbin’s stellar 8 total innings.
Based on what could be seen in the 1st inning, it appeared as though Corbin would have some difficult with Colorado’s early to middle part of their lineup: fellow all-star Carlos Gonzalez and hot-hitting Michael Cuddyer would understandably present a problem. Yet Corbin still managed to easily thwart off the dangerous Rockie hitters, prohibiting the potent 3-4 spot of Gonzalez and Cuddyer to touch base again.
The number 10 was a key one for Corbin and Arizona: the starter fanned 10 batters, and after six starts, finally grasped his 10th victory of the season. Despite the month of June not taking kind to Corbin, Arizona has still won 16 of his 18 starts. And after a resounding Sunday matinee victory, Corbin’s WHIP dripped below 1.00 (now at 0.98).
The Diamondbacks added some run insurance in the 5th and 6th innings. Third baseman Eric Chavez, who knocked in a run in the bottom of the 5th, was part of the proficient display put on by Arizona’s first four hitters. The group–comprising of Parra, Hill, Goldschmidt, and Chavez–combined to go 8 for 15, scoring 4 runs, totaling for 4 RBI, 1 walk, and striking out just twice. Corbin even helped his own cause in the 6th inning, hitting a double into rightfield and chasing home a run.