PHOENIX -- When Zack Godley struck out the first two batters of the third inning, all seemed good for the D-backs' right-hander.
As it turned out, Godley would not make it out of the inning as the Cubs scored five times in the frame on their way to a 9-1 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field.
The loss snapped Arizona’s five-game winning streak and evened the series between the two teams.
“I have to be better than that,” Godley said. “I have to be able to work ahead of guys and get guys out. I’m not doing that right now, and I’ve got some stuff I’ve got to figure out to get back to what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years.”
It has not been a smooth year Godley, who took his second loss of the season. Of his six starts this year, he has given up four or more earned runs in four of them and he has a 7.58 ERA.
The question now is where Godley goes from here. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game that there would be discussions about that topic.
“It’s something that we’re going to probably round up and talk about as a staff,” Lovullo said. “I think we do a good job of removing some emotion from the moment. We’re going to let it kind of calm down and probably have some conversations through the night about that very topic. I know he hasn’t thrown the ball well over the past couple outings. We’ll circle up as a group like we always do and figure out what the best options are.”
With a pair of off-days next week, the D-backs could skip Godley’s spot the next time through the rotation to give him some more time to work with pitching coach Mike Butcher.
“I’m just trying to get that stuff figured out and get back to what I’ve been doing. I know that what I’ve done so far this year is not what I normally do and not what I’ve shown that I can do, and I’ve got to get better.”
A pair of familiar troubles for Godley cropped up in the third -- he started falling behind in the count and when things started to go wrong he wasn’t able to limit the damage.
“With him we’re trying to stop those innings before it happens,” catcher John Ryan Murphy said. “It seems like runs add up quickly so it seems like he’s always one or two pitches away from getting out of the inning.”
That was the case again Saturday when after the two strikeouts to start the third, there was a walk, double, balk, double, intentional walk and then a three-run homer by David Bote.
Neither Godley nor Chicago starter Yu Darvish had great command with several pitches getting away from each, including a Darvish pitch that hit Adam Jones on the shoulder.
So when Bote got hit by a Matt Koch pitch in the seventh after hitting two homers, he reacted by throwing his bat away and yelling something at Koch as he moved towards first.
Both benches emptied, but there was nothing but some yelling between the two sides.
“I will say this: This isn’t old-school baseball,” Lovullo said. “We don’t play that here. Just because somebody hits two home runs, we do not throw at batters. He hit two home runs. He deserved to hit two home runs.”
Lovullo’s counterpart, Cubs manager Joe Maddon, agreed.
“Honestly, I don’t think their pitcher was trying to do that,” Maddon said. “Just like Yu wasn’t trying to get inside on Jonesy, and Godley had a hard time. We had some guys having a hard time with fastball command. That’s what I saw, I didn’t see anything intentional.”
Position player pitches!
Outside of Archie Bradley and Caleb Joseph, Arizona pitching struggled to control Chicago’s offense all night. That’s right Joseph, the D-backs’ third catcher, took the hill in the ninth inning and needed only six pitches to dispatch of Javier Baez, Bote and Jason Heyward.
He now owns a sparkling 0.00 ERA for his career.