Buried deep in Arizona’s farm system just a year ago, Collmenter had a superb start to his rookie season, starting with an impressive stint as a reliever after an April call-up, followed by a pair of scoreless starts after being added to the rotation. He couldn’t keep up that pace as teams figured out how to hit against his quirky delivery, but still finished the regular season 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA.
The Brewers were among the teams unable to figure out Collmenter. He pitched 14 scoreless innings and allowed six hits in consecutive starts against Milwaukee in July _ a big reason Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson went with the big right-hander for Game 3.
“Against the Brewers, I had a lot of things working,” Collmenter said. “I was able to establish the fastball, work a changeup in on them and really kept them uncomfortable.”
A counterbalance to Zack Greinke’s home dominance, Marcum was Milwaukee’s big man on the road.
Just 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA in 17 home starts, the 29-year-old went 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 16 games away from Miller Park. After a strong start to the season, Marcum had some struggles down the stretch, putting up a 6.66 ERA in his final four outings, but he does have postseason experience and has proven to be resilient.
“He’s not lights-out maybe like he was earlier,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “He has those stretches where he is, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he came out and did the same thing he did early in the season and occasionally during the season.”
Marcum will have to do it against a desperate team that doesn’t like being told it can’t do something.
Playing with a chip-on-their-shoulder mentality all season, the Diamondbacks gave all the naysayers a big shush with all those comeback wins and their first NL West title in four years. Now, with everyone counting them out again, they’re looking to do it again.
“We prospered together and we failed together and that’s the way it will remain,” Gibson said. “We understand people are going to have opinions on how things are happening. It’s not over yet, so it’s almost amusing. We’re still competing, we’re still in the series.”
If the rest of the season was any indication, a chance is all the Diamondbacks may need.