From the first pitch Luke Weaver threw Monday night, Torey Lovullo knew it was going to be a good night.
"I saw an aggressive fastball from the first one that he threw," the D-backs’ manager said. "And I saw some intensity from the first pitch of the game on, and I could tell this had the potential to be a little bit different, and it was."
Yes, it was, as Weaver held the Marlins scoreless through 6 1/3 innings while allowing four hits and striking out six batters, snapping the D-backs’ six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Chase Field.
It was quite a 180-degree turn from five days ago, when Weaver faced this very same Marlins team in Miami.
By the time he had thrown 59 pitches in that game, Weaver had allowed six runs and it was just the second inning.
This time, he didn't hit the 59-pitch mark until the sixth inning.
"You got to have your revenge, right?" Weaver said. "You've got to be motivated in a way where, you know, 'Yeah, you got me, but it's never going to happen again.' And that's the mindset of, you know, 'Hey, you got to enjoy your day. And now I'm going to enjoy mine. And then when we, you know, we have a rubber match down the road, and I expect to win that.' And that's how we leave it."
Weaver had more on his mind than revenge.
After allowing 17 runs over 17 innings in his last four starts, there was legitimate reason to wonder whether the D-backs might take him out of the rotation. He said after the start in Miami that his struggles were almost "unbearable," and he came out firing on Monday.
"I think it was just, enough was enough," Weaver said. "Obviously, I'm going out there every time and doing the best I can. And I think we just try to find that flow, that continual rhythm. … We try to do that every time, and tonight I was able to pull it off. And I think it's just a lot of those moments to build off of going into the next one."
Weaver almost exclusively used a fastball-changeup combination to keep the Miami hitters in check, throwing just seven cutters and one curve among his 75 pitches.
For Weaver, though, it always comes back to mindset and being on the attack rather than nibbling around the edges of the plate.
How aggressive was Weaver? He faced 22 batters on the night and threw just 17 balls.
"It's a lot of fun to play behind a guy when that's happening. He's attacking, he's obviously throwing a lot of strikes," first baseman Christian Walker said. "That's a big part of it, keeping the game moving, forcing the hitters to make decisions. Making them feel like they have to swing early is a big thing, too. Just pounding the zone. It's fun. The game is moving. Everything about it just breeds better baseball. So it's a lot of fun.
“Props to Luke tonight. I know he came out with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. That was a lot of fun to see him go out and dominate like that."