Rockies’ new starter Dinelson Lamet struggles in 6-0 loss to D-backs

Tribune Content Agency

The Rockies took the field Wednesday night with a recycled starter, a young lineup and a monkey on their back.

So it came as no big surprise that the talented Diamondbacks cruised to a 6-0 victory at Chase Field.

The recycled starter was Dinelson Lamet. The right-hander was not very good.

With Charlie Blackmon still gone on bereavement leave for his grandfather, and Kris Bryant nursing a sore foot after getting nicked by a foul ball Tuesday night, Colorado trotted out a baby-faced lineup that included Ezequiel Tovar at shortstop, Elehuris Montero at first, Nolan Jones in left and Brenton Doyle in center.

The monkey? That would be the Rockies’ feeble offense on the road where they fell to 9-19 after managing just three hits and not advancing a runner past second base.

Arizona left-hander Tommy Henry, 25, dominated the Rockies and pitched the best game of his infant career and kept the D-backs rolling. They have won five of six from the Rockies this season, and with a 33-23 record are 10 games above .500 for the first time since being 76-66 on Sept 8, 2018.

Henry kept Colorado hitters off-balance for seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits — a leadoff, infield single to Doyle in the third and a one-out double to Jones in the fifth. Henry struck out seven and walked two.

“He had a nice mix, with a fastball on both sides of the plate,” manager Bud Black told reporters in Phoenix. “The change the breaking ball came into play late and we just couldn’t solve him.”

Lamet, making his first start for the Rockies after struggling as a reliever early in the season before going on the injured list with a stiff back, was not pounded into submission. But he certainly wasn’t sharp over his three innings and struggled to locate his slider. The Diamondbacks sliced and diced Lamet for five runs on seven hits, all of them singles save for Pavin Smith’s RBI double in Arizona’s two-run second.

“It’s been a while since I started a game and the first couple of innings I was a little bit anxious,” Lamet told reporters. “But once I got going, toward the end, I got a little better.”

Four of Arizona’s first four hitters singled, with Corbin Carroll knocking in one run and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. driving in two as the Diamondbacks took a 3-0 lead in the first. That turned out to be all they would need to win their third consecutive game in the series. The D-backs will go for the sweep Thursday afternoon.

The fact that Lamet did not walk a batter was a silver lining because, during his stint in Colorado’s bullpen, free passes were a major issue.

Despite the numbers in the box score, Black sounded encouraged by Lamet’s performance.

“I liked his stuff,” Black said. “Good fastball velocity, good, hard slider. They had some good at-bats; some hard groundballs. I liked the ball-strike ratio a lot and (there were) no walks. But we have to tune in a little bit on the location.

“It’s a matter of getting him up to speed and getting him back in that groove. It’s been a couple of years since his last start. … If that stuff remains like it is, he’s going to be fine.”

The right-hander’s last start came on June 26, 2021, against Arizona when he was pitching for San Diego. In that game, he allowed four runs on six hits, including two home runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Peter Lambert, who’s taken over the long-reliever role, provided a workmanlike 2 2/3 innings, giving up three hits but just one run. The lone run came on a leadoff homer by Christian Walker in the fifth, the 100th homer of Walker’s career.