The Rockies beat the living tar out of the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They were up 19-1 by the end of the fifth inning, in fact, and everyone should’ve probably just agreed to go home early and catch up on the shows they have on their DVRs and stuff. But they played on, because that’s what ballplayers do.
As is so often the case in blowouts, eventually a position player was deployed to pitch. In this case, though, it wasn’t just one position player and it wasn’t just for a final inning. The Dbacks used two position players — Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila — and they pitched for more than half the dang game.
Really: the Snakes’ real pitchers gave up 16 runs in four and a third innings while Descalso and Avila gave up 3 runs in four and two-thirds innings. All of those runs were charged to Descalso, by the way, who allowed two homers. He still did better than real pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, however, who gave up four more runs in one inning less of work.
Avila, though, was pretty spiffy. He faced seven batters over two innings and retired six of them, allowing only one hit, in the form of a leadoff single to Ian Desmond just after coming into the game. He stranded Desmond, though, getting the next three batters to fly out and line out. He came back for the eighth inning and retired the side in order once again.
I suspect that, at that point in the game, the Rockies hitters were not exactly going up with an intention to do serious damage, but I don’t think big leaguers quit either, so we should give some credit to Avila for his surprisingly outstanding performance. Even if it came at the end of a shockingly terrible night for the Arizona Diamondbacks.