Miley’s mastery of Rockies comes to an end
PHOENIX — From perfect to perfectly miserable. The Diamondbacks’ string of quality starts came to an end Monday, as did Wade Miley’s career dominance of the Rockies.
In an uncharacteristic performance against a Rockies team he had beaten in all seven of his decisions, Miley gave up seven extra-base hits in six innings as the D-backs lost their third straight, this one an 8-5 decision, at Chase Field. They have lost 13 of their last 17.
At times, it almost seemed as if the Rockies were playing at Coors Field. They entered the game with the highest batting average in the major leagues by almost 20 points, the highest slugging percentage, and three of the top five individual hitters, and they did not slow down against a pitcher they weren’t particularly looking forward to facing.
"He’s a good pitcher, and I know he has pitched well against us," Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said of Miley. "Usually numbers play out, so maybe if he is 7-0, you don’t get excited."
The Rockies turned the numbers around for a night. They had eight extra-base hits, including home runs by Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau. Tulowitzki, who has 15 hits in his last 35 at-bats, had two of Colorado’s six doubles to improve his batting average to .366, second in the NL.
Tulowitzki’s homer leading off the sixth inning against Miley broke a tie at 4, and Morneau hit a two-run homer three batters later to give the Rockies control. Tulowitzki hit a 2-0 fastball for his sixth homer of the season.
"I was trying to go in. Just up a little bit," Miley said. "I’ve got him out on that pitch previously, multiple times. He got me tonight."
The D-backs’ offense kept up with the Rockies early. Paul Goldschmidt had three hits and an RBI, Miguel Montero had a single, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs and Gerardo Parra had a home run as Arizona countered every Colorado rally with one of its own against Franklin Morales.
Goldschmidt’s RBI groundout after a Martin Prado triple in the fifth tied the score at 4. Prado had two hits, two walks and three runs.
That was the part that frustrated Miley (2-3) the most.
"The team tried to get me back in the game," Miley said. "They’d score. We’d score. I just didn’t do my job. I didn’t do a very good job of executing pitches, and it cost me."
The Rockies entered the game hitting .295, 19 percentage points higher than the No. 2 White Sox. Charlie Blackmon, who had a six-hit game against the D-backs in the Rockies’ home opener, leads the league at .389, although the only damage he did Monday was a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Morneau is fifth at .351.
Miley said he felt good early on, another frustrating aspect to his first lost to Colorado in 11 career appearances, 10 starts.
"It was weird," he said. "Those guys (Rockies) are swinging it well right now. I didn’t get the job done. It was on me.
It ended a streak of four consecutive quality starts for the D-backs after Mike Bolsinger, Josh Collmenter, Bronson Arroyo and Brandon McCarthy had gone at least six innings and given up no more than two runs.
"We got outbattled," Gibson said. "You look up and down the board at their averages. We knew they were swinging the bats very well. Early in the game, Wade felt like he was making decent pitches. On the two home runs, he made mistakes there.
"They are a good hitting ball club. They are hard to contain. You have to make a lot of good pitches on them. Not good enough."
Amidst all the offense, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado made a nice defensive play to blunt an Arizona rally in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second in a 7-5 game, Arenado glided to his left to field Aaron Hill’s hard grounder to start a double play. "I’m careful to make comments as strong as this one, but he’s the best I’ve ever seen at third base," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who had a 14-year major league career as a shortstop. "I have never seen anybody like him." Arenado won a Gold Glove as a rookie last season.
27 — Errors by the D-backs this season, the most in the majors, after they committed two Monday. They have one more than the Nationals and the Dodgers, although they have played three more games than both.
— With his double to right-center field in the third inning, Paul Goldschmidt moved into a tie for the major league lead with 11 two-baggers. Chase Utley and Hanley Ramirez are the others.
— Randall Delgado has shown an uptick in velocity since being moved to the bullpen. His fastball registered 95 mph several times on the Chase Field scoreboard. He struck out three, one on a changeup, in two innings. He was charged with a run after leaving the game, as he was responsible for a leadoff double in the top of the ninth.
— Parra, who had just five errors while winning a Gold Glove last season, committed his second of the season when he threw behind a runner to first base on Charlie Blackmon’s sacrifice fly with runners on first and third in the ninth inning. The ball short-hopped Paul Goldschmidt and the runner took second, although he did not score.
Parra’s line-drive home run into the right-field seats was his first homer off a left-handed pitcher since Oct. 1, 2012, when he took Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz deep. Parra hit all of his career-high 10 homers against righties last season.