If right-hander Josh Collmenter completed an audition for a spot in the 2015 rotation, call it successful.
Throughout his final start of the season, Collmenter continued to dazzle opponents and get the attention of Tony La Russa, the team’s Chief Baseball Officer. Not that La Russa will identify starters in the rotation between now and the start of spring training, but Collmenter’s name will likely be in the mix.
On Sunday, Collmenter turned in eight strong innings in another quality September outing and laid the foundation for serious consideration for next season’s spot. Already, two projected starters from this season, Bronson Arroyo and Patrick Corbin are recovering from Tommy John surgery and neither will be ready by the start of next season.
With the rotation in a continuous flux, Collmenter was the only sense of stability in an otherwise chaotic cadre of starters. The Homer, Mich. native clearly put his name in the rotation mix with another stellar effort Sunday against the Cardinals. In the end, he dropped a 1-0 decision to St. Louis before 30,617 in the season finale at Chase Field.
“This was the best I felt in a long time and where I could put the ball,” Collmenter said afterward. “Command-wise, I felt good. After the Cardinals clinched and put out a different line-up, it didn’t affect me. You still went go out and do your job, regardless of the circumstances.”
The only run in this one crossed the plate in the St Louis half of the sixth inning.
Shortstop Pete Kozma lead off with a double to left center field. Moving to third on a ground out, he scored on a grounder to short from the bat of Kolten Wong.
Otherwise, Collmenter allowed only two other base runners for his eight innings of work. That included a lead-off double from Matt Adams in the second and a lead-off single in the fifth from Daniel Descalso. Over his eight innings, Collmenter allowed just three hits walked none and fanned three hitters.
Against five St. Louis pitchers, the Diamondbacks could manage only two harmless singles, both by Cliff Pennington. Their only threat was in the sixth inning. Following walks to Collmenter and A. J. Pollock, David Peralta, with one out, grounded into a double play to end the threat.
After the Pirates lost to Cincinnati earlier Sunday and clinched the National League Central Division for St. Louis, Cardinals’ manager Mike Methany went with a revised line-up and scratched starter Adam Wainwright. Still, the Diamondbacks could do nothing against starter Nick Greenwood and relievers Justin Masterson, Kevin Siegrist, Marco Gonzalez and Carlos Martinez.
For his part, Collmenter said he would like a spot in the 2015 rotation but acknowledged that decision for the new Diamondbacks manager and his coaching staff.
“I’d like to get the ball every five days,” he said. “That’s fun but I’ll see what happens. I’d like to be a starter.”
END OF A STREAK
Outfielder Ender Inciarte’s hitting streak at 15 games was stopped.
That was the second longest by a rookie in franchise history and only topped by Inciarte’s 18-game hitting streak earlier in the season.
AT THE GATE
With Sunday’s announced crowd of 30,617, the Diamondbacks drew 2.073,730 for the season.
That includes 76,345 for two games with the Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Grounds in March. Numbers of the 2014 were below the 2,134,789 for the 2013 season and represents the lowest attendance in four years. That’s when the team drew 2,057,135 during the 2010 season.