New low: D-backs off to worst start in franchise history
DENVER — After pitching effectively early on, Brandon McCarthy suddenly lost the feel for his sinker.
His control of the game was soon to follow.
McCarthy was tagged for three home runs, including two by Nolan Arenado, and the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to hold a four-run lead in a 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night. The loss dropped Arizona to 1-7 on the season, the worst start in team history.
"I really don’t know what happened," said McCarthy, who had set down 10 straight batters after Charlie Blackmon opened the game with a single.
"I just sort of lost the feel for my sinker, just really started to struggle with that command-wise. The first two home runs were just really bad pitches. I didn’t get the sink I wanted, didn’t put them in the (right) location, and got punished."
Martin Prado, who left Friday’s game with a finger laceration, had an RBI double in the first, the Diamondbacks added an unearned run in the second and Mark Trumbo connected for a two-run home run in the third. It was Trumbo’s second homer in two days and fourth homer in five career games at Coors Field.
But the Rockies cut Arizona’s lead with a three-run third before forging ahead an inning later.
With one out in the fourth, McCarthy walked Carlos Gonzales, his first walk in four career starts against the Rockies, a stretch of 90 batters.
Michael Cuddyer followed and sent McCarthy’s first offering over the center field fence. One out later, Arenado, who came in batting .143, connected for the first of his two home runs to pull the Rockies to 4-3.
"Everything just fell apart, like what has been happening," Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero said. "We made bad pitches, period. It was a lot of hanging breaking balls, a lot of up, out over-the-plate fastballs. We’ve just got to bear down, make good pitches, especially with two strikes."
McCarthy, who is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his four career starts against the Rockies, got two quick outs in the fifth but then failed to close it out. Blackmon hit a comebacker that glanced off McCarthy’s glove and then rolled toward short, allowing Blackmon to beat out an infield single.
D.J. LeMahieu followed with an RBI single to right and then scored all the way from first when Gonzalez lifted a base hit to right. The relay from right fielder Gerardo Parra went to shortstop Owings, covering second, and then home, but LeMahieu was safe when Montero couldn’t hang on to a low throw to the plate.
"The way we were defending, it was kind of hit in a bad spot for us," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think if you do it all over, maybe we get it in. It still seemed like we had the runner beat with the throw but we didn’t hold on to it. It was a pressure play they put on us. We didn’t execute."
That’s the way it’s been early in the season for the Diamondbacks, who lost their fourth in a row since their lone win.
"We keep talking about, ‘It’s early. It’s early,’" Montero said. "But next thing you know, you’re going to be like 1 and 15 and it’s going to be hard to pick it up like that. We’ve got to pick it up right now or things could get ugly."
Paul Goldschmidt went 0 for 2 with two walks, snapping his 26-game hitting streak. The streak was the second longest in club history behind a 30-game streak by Luis Gonzalez from April 11-May 11, 1999.