Well-grounded: Godley notches second win
SEATTLE -- Zack Godley's second Major League start wasn't quite his record-setting Major League debut, but it was, along with a productive D-backs offense and a sound defense, enough to carry his team to an 8-4 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night.
"I felt pretty good," Godley said after his six-inning, three-run performance. "I didn't have the command that I had in my last start, but the defense played well behind me."
Godley became just the fifth pitcher in D-backs history to win his first two Major League starts, walking three while striking out four.
Before Tuesday's game, D-backs manager Chip Hale said he admired Godley's poise, that he tends to pitch to his strengths and throw his pitches with conviction. On Tuesday, one of Godley's strengths was the amount of movement on his two-seam fastball, and it wound up hurting his accuracy.
Godley threw just 54 of his 94 pitches for strikes, but he induced groundout after groundout to keep the Mariners at bay, including double-play balls in the fourth and fifth.
"I thought he gave us what we needed. He did a great job and the ground balls helped," said Hale. "With that infield that we have, the double plays and guys being active out there really helped us get going on offense, too."
Godley's two-seam fastball occasionally ran out of the zone, and the rookie said he paid dearly as he tried to catch more of the plate.
The 25-year-old righty was hit exceptionally hard on several occasions -- a 452-foot shot by Mike Zunino in the third followed by a 440 foot bomb by Nelson Cruz in the sixth, both hit slightly above the out-of-town scoreboard in left center -- but managed to settle down after allowing his first Major League home runs. Brad Miller doubled in Seth Smith in the sixth for the Mariners' third run of the game, but Godley kept the major damage to those extra-base hits.
"I just left the pitch [to Zunino] up," Godley said. "It's gonna happen."
For the second time in two starts, Godley finished his night with a quality start. After the double to Miller and with his pitch count rising, he constructed an effective pitch sequence against Zunino in the sixth. On just four pitches, Godley got Zunino to chase on an off-speed pitch in the dirt to notch his fourth strikeout and finish off his night.
Two starts into his career with the D-backs, Godley has two wins and is starting to feel more comfortable on the Major League stage.
"That's always the way it is," Godley said. "The more you go out there the more comfortable you get and the more you get settled in."