Thursday Stats Watch: Pitching In on Wednesday Night
Three innings into the Rockies-Diamondbacks game at Coors Field on Wednesday night, the D-Backs already had lost two pitchers to injuries. Starter Shelby Miller, who only pitched one inning, was a serious enough concern that he was on a late flight back to Phoenix so he can have his left elbow examined today.
So with one out in the fourth, and the Rockies already leading 13-1, manager Torey Lovullo decided to bite the bullet and called on Daniel Descalso's and Alex Avila to work the final 4 2/3 innings in what became a 19-2 Rockies victory, snapping the Diamondbacks nine-game winning streak at Coors Field.
Descalso became the first non-pitcher to be called into a game as early as the fourth inning since Sal Bando came on in the fourth inning for the Brewers at the Royals on Aug. 29, 1979. Bando worked three innings, giving up two runs in what was an 18-8 loss.
Descalso worked 2 2/3 innings, the first non-pitcher to work more than one inning since Jose Oquendo of the Cardinals pitched four innings against the Braves on May 14, 1988.
Descalso and Avila's appearances were the 10th and 11th time a position player has pitched for the Diamdonbacks, and the fourth time for Descalso.
Mound Matters: D-Backs Pitching In
Brent Mayne, who became the first position player to appear on the mound for the Rockies, worked one inning against the Braves on Aug. 22, 2000, and picked up the extra-inning victory. Todd Zeile is the other Rockies position player to appear in a game, working one inning on Sept. 14, 2002 in a 16-3 loss to the Dodgers.
Rockies Double Duty
With the victory the Rockies are 47-45, in fourth place in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading Diamondbacks. The 47-45 record equals sixth-best record in Rockies history at the 92-game mark. Three of the four better starts resulted in the Rockies going to the postseason. They were 46-46 after 92 games en route to the only World Series appearance in franchise history in 2007.