Herrmann catching fire for D-backs

May 21st, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Herrmann apparently has been given a few nicknames since joining the D-backs this season: Herrm the Worm. The Herrminator. Herrmannation Station.

Whatever you want to call him, the D-backs have been fortunate to have the versatile catcher, who picked up another three RBIs on Friday night as the D-backs beat the Cardinals, 11-7, at Busch Stadium.

Herrmann was acquired in an offseason trade with the Twins, and after a tough start to the season, he has caught fire at the plate. He has hit safely in five straight games and driven in 13 runs in his last 11 games.

It's quite a turnaround from his 1-for-20 start to the season; he credits hitting coaches Dave Magadan and Mark Grace for their efforts.

"They've been working with me every single day, just trying to tweak my swing and help me stay mentally positive and ready for the game and big situations," Herrmann said.

In fact, Herrmann's bat has become so valuable to the D-backs that they've started him in both right and center field.

Lost in the shuffle of all the runs the D-backs scored on Friday, not to mention the late comeback by the Cardinals, were the two runs Herrmann drove home in the first inning.

With two outs and the bases loaded against Carlos Martinez, Herrmann grounded a single through the hole at short to give the D-backs a two-run lead.

Given the team's recent struggles to score, getting those early tallies helped the hitters relax a bit. In fact, manager Chip Hale considered bunting in the first inning if leadoff man Jean Segura had gotten on, just to get a runner in scoring position.

"I think it was huge," Hale said of Herrmann's single. "It was huge to get up. We wanted to score a run. To score two was big."

The D-backs also wanted to jump on Martinez, who had held them scoreless over eight innings earlier this season at Chase Field.

"I think it's really important, just because of the fact that Martinez is a very good pitcher, and just to come out and put two runs up on him is huge," Herrmann said. "I know he's been struggling, but we don't want him to feel comfortable out there, and thankfully, I drove in two runs for us."

Herrmann added his second hit of the game in the ninth, when he hit a solo shot off third baseman Ruben Tejada, who became the first Cardinal position player to pitch in a game since Daniel Descalso in 2014.

"It felt good," Herrmann said. "I know it was off a position player, but they all count."

Herrmann also contributed defensively, throwing out Stephen Piscotty trying to steal in the third inning.