D-backs fall to Mets in Collmenter's first start
Righty allows three runs in four innings as Arizona drops to 1-9 at home
PHOENIX -- The D-backs shook up their rotation in hopes of sparking their sagging fortunes.
Those moves may pay dividends, but Monday it was more of the same as the D-backs fell, 7-3, to the Mets at Chase Field.
The loss was the fourth straight for the D-backs, who are now 1-9 at home this year and have the Majors' worst record at 4-12.
"We're not in sync at all," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Defensively we made two errors tonight, didn't help the cause. Again, when you're in a streak the way we're in a streak, it does affect the way they play. It doesn't come as natural."
Josh Collmenter, who was moved to the rotation to take the place of Randall Delgado, could only go four innings before his pitch count reached 73, and the D-backs were not going to push him past that in his first start of the year.
Over the last three seasons, Collmenter had been a jack-of-all-trades for the D-backs and always seems to come up big when they need him.
And while he didn't pitch poorly, neither did he dazzle.
"Well, not good enough," Gibson said of Collmenter's performance. "He didn't get the ball exactly where he wanted it. Balls were up in the zone out over the plate, but they swung the bats well. We asked him to do a lot. I didn't think he was really in sync tonight, but he went out there and busted his tail."
Collmenter allowed three runs on five hits in his four innings.
"I felt good," Collmenter said. "Inefficient, which didn't allow me to go as deep in the game as I wanted to. I threw too many pitches the first handful of innings, but overall, I felt pretty good. I hit a lot of my spots. They fouled some pitches off. I just didn't get outs early. I made a lot of pitches. I was happy with my command for the most part. There were a couple pitches out over the plate that they hit, but other than that, I was pretty happy with it."
Mike Bolsinger, who is taking over for Trevor Cahill in the rotation beginning Saturday, was called up from Triple-A Reno on Monday, and he made his big league debut behind Collmenter and allowed a pair of runs while tossing three innings.
Bolsinger's nerves showed early in his outing.
After striking out the first batter he faced, the next four batters reached base as the Mets scored a pair of runs.
"I had a little bit of nerves. I mean, who wouldn't?" Bolsinger said. "But it was fun, I had a great time."
Catcher Miguel Montero went out and reminded the rookie to slow the game down, and that seemed to help as he held the Mets scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings before departing.
Bolsinger's next outing will come Saturday, when he starts against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but he doesn't figure to be quite as nervous after making his debut.
"I think that's big to go out there and get the first one out of the way," Bolsinger said. "Get the nerves out and then go out there for the next one and get after it."
The D-backs didn't get much offense going against Zack Wheeler and Carlos Torres, and what little they did came thanks to Montero, who went 3-for-3 with all three of the team's RBIs.
"We just couldn't get the rest of the offense going," Gibson said. "They pitched us pretty decent. That Wheeler has a good arm. Torres came in and threw pretty good as well. They held us down."
Wheeler (1-2) allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
"I would have liked to have finished the seventh," Wheeler said. "But my pitch count started getting up there and I walked that guy, so it's understandable."
What the D-backs are having trouble understanding is why they are struggling so much this early in the season. The answers have proven elusive, but they maintain the effort is still there.
"Everybody wants to be the guy that puts his foot in the ground and turns it around," Collmenter said. "There's no quit. Everybody's trying, you can tell. It's just frustrating not to get the results."