The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off a neat trick last year: they turned one good young pitcher into two. It’s not something you can do by pouring water on them, like a mogwai. But the Diamonbacks took Max Scherzer, put him in a top hat, and came out with Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy. Those two pitchers are a huge reason why the Diamondbacks are winning and pushing the first-place Giants early in the season.
On Thursday night, though, it wasn’t Hudson or Kennedy going for the Diamondbacks. It wasn’t the hatchet-tossing piece of folklore that is Josh Collementer. It wasn’t the, uh, Joe Saunders-like efficiency of a Joe Saunders. It was Micah Owings, the sweet-swinging pitcher who used to be a young Diamondbacks pitcher himself before he left as part of an Adam Dunn trade in 2008. Owings went to Cincinnati and floundered, throwing 48 games for the Reds before being cut loose, and the Diamondbacks returned him to the fold.
The Colorado Rockies probably wish he had stayed in Ohio, as Owings threw five strong innings, and the ever underrated Miguel Montero contributed a three-run home run as the Diamondbacks took the final game of a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field, winning 6-3.
Sinker-baller Clayton Mortensen got the start for the Rockies, giving up four earned runs in six innings, walking three and striking out five. He first ran into trouble in the fourth inning, walking Stephen Drew on seven pitches, and walking Chris Young on four straight balls. Gameday had an interesting take on the next at-bat, against Montero:
Either Gameday was off, the categorization of the pitches was off, or Mortensen is a master of throwing three different pitches at the exact same speed. Whichever of the possibilities you choose, it’s probably a good bet that Montero was sitting on something around 86 MPH. He hit a moon shot that went over the 375-foot sign in right-center, giving the Diamondbacks a three-run lead.
The Rockies got a run back in the fourth when Troy Tulowitzki singled home Carlos Gonzalez, who had singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After the Diamondbacks extended the lead to 4-1 on Melvin Mora's RBI single, the Rockies responded with two runs in the seventh to cut the lead to a single run. In Coors Field, a one-run lead feels like a two-run deficit, but the Diamondbacks sealed the victory after Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
David Hernandez, who entered in the eighth inning to get two outs, closed the game out by striking out Jose Lopez on a pitch he calls "The Designator." Well, he should, because Lopez was designated for assignment after the game.
The Diamondbacks will travel to Houston, while the Rockies will host the St. Louis Cardinals.