Gosewisch’s big night powers Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — Every night could be themed Throwback Thursday as far as catcher Tuffy Gosewisch is concerned; they’re all the same to him.
So there was no chance the Arizona Diamondbacks’ signing of veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia would change Gosewisch’s approach on Thursday.
"I’ve come to the park the same every day for the last 10 years," Gosewisch said when asked about the news before an 11-0 Diamondbacks win against the San Diego Padres. "I’m not going to change what I do now."
But the numbers revealed some change — coincidental or not.
Gosewisch put together his most complete game in the majors, contributing three doubles and four RBI while donning the retro jerseys he saw the D-backs wear during his high school days growing up in the Valley.
The D-backs sprayed 17 hits on the Padres while pitcher Rubby De La Rosa allowed only three in what looked like his best game this year. The offense gave him an early cushion and he ran with it.
Mark Trumbo started the rout with a solo home run from the two-hole, and Arizona tacked on three more runs in the first inning.
Paul Goldschmidt added a solo home run to left field in the third inning, and Gosewisch added a second double of the evening. Gosewisch recorded his third double in the fifth, scoring Yasmany Tomas and Chris Owings, to give the Diamondbacks an 8-0 advantage.
"First one, got lucky and it fell in, relaxed a little bit after that. Got some pitches to hit," Gosewisch said. "As a whole, I think the whole team had a great approach and continued to get hits throughout the game."
Hale and his hitters had some time at their Ritz Carlton hotel to chew on the lineup change this week. He posted the fresh look without rhyme or reason on Monday, he said, and didn’t think twice about changing it when the first two games against the Rockies were rained out in Denver.
"We had the lineup up and guys were asking me if I had too much to drink on the plane from L.A. to Colorado," Hale said.
Could it be that the Diamondbacks scoring 24 runs in the two games with Trumbo in the unfamiliar second slot be more than coincidence?
"I think the word is small-sample-size," Trumbo said. "It’s nice. It’s just great all-around at-bats, I think. We tried to kick ourselves in the butt after our series in L.A."
Like the potential coincidence of Trumbo’s good fortune in the second slot, Gosewisch’s success came on a day when his job might be at risk. Though Saltalamacchia must himself prove worthy of a call-up, Gosewisch put together a stellar evening at the right time.
Excuse the pun, but to expect Gosewisch to react in any other manner than salty is silly. There’s been too much grinding, too long a wait for Gosewisch, who earned the starting catching job at the beginning of the season.
The D-backs won’t bother to wonder if his big night had more to do with the Saltalamacchia signing rather than the Gosewisch’s work ethic. Hale shrugged when asked if there’s a sense of urgency in Gosewisch’s game, then pointed out the starting catcher also looked good the day before the Saltalamacchia signing.
"I guess there was rumors out there (a day prior), right? Could it be? I guess,” Hale said. "He’s putting a shorter, more compact swing on the ball, that’s what we’ve been preaching from Day 1. I would go to that side of it more than the psychological part."
Archie Bradley’s face is looking better these days. Save for a black eye, he is doing well after a line drive struck him in the face. Bradley is expected back for a game at Philadelphia on May 16, but he and the rest of the D-backs flinched early in the game Thursday when a foul smacked right into the dugout fence. Bradley was caught soon after donning a catcher’s mask.
* De La Rosa was dealing, and he struck out seven in seven shutout innings. Despite the Padres’ hitting prowess, the D-backs went to the fastball often because his location was on point, Gosewisch said. "The one thing I said to Mike Harkey on the bench, the Padres didn’t swing at a lot of balls," Hale said. "They made him throw strikes. And they’re a good fastball hitting team. He beat them with fastballs a lot."
* Don’t be surprised if there are more looks at Trumbo in the two hole. It might’ve been a gut feeling or a random attempt to jumpstart his team, but Hale did give two good reasons for the tweak. For one, the first and second batters were struggling to get on base at all of late. Secondly, the D-backs often involve Trumbo with double-switches when they make pitching changes late. Doing so in the second spot, ahead of Paul Goldschmidt instead of after him, is a positive as well.
8 – a franchise-record-tying number of doubles for the Diamondbacks. The total equalled two other games, the last of which was in June 2009.
Let’s close the night with a final thought from Gosewisch, who remembers the purple and teal franchise in its infancy. Here’s what he had to say about the Throwback Thursday threads.
"Reminds me of when I was in high school, back when they won the World Series. I love it. Just the beginning of the organization … for me growing up here, we never had a baseball team so when we got one, you know, you never forget what they were wearing the first time. It ‘s just bringing me back to, now I have a team to root for in my hometown."