Collmenter, bullpen combine for win vs. Mets

Three relievers combine for three scoreless after righty goes six solid

Collmenter, bullpen combine for win vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- A small reminder was what Josh Collmenter needed after a frustrating first inning against the Mets. Sure, the game was scoreless, but Collmenter needed 29 pitches to record three outs. When Collmenter came into the dugout, Mike Harkey, the D-backs pitching coach, wanted to chat with him.

Harkey's message to Collmenter was short: just relax.

Perhaps Collmenter, who started this season as a reliever, felt an extra responsibility to his fellow members of the bullpen with a single-admission doubleheader looming on Sunday.

The objective facing Collmenter was not simple. He had to keep his pitch count as low as he could for the remainder of the game. The D-backs wanted him on the mound for at least six innings. Collmenter also needed to keep the Mets' scoring to a minimum and make them uncomfortable at the plate.

The end result? Collmenter accomplished his complex task, and the D-backs endured another rain-filled day at Citi Field to defeat the Mets, 3-2. The victory ended the D-backs' three-game losing streak and snapped their five-game losing streak to the Mets.

"I went out there and threw the ball down in the zone," Collmenter said. "I had a lot of quick outs later on and that helped out after blowing through so many pitches in the first inning. With the doubleheader coming up, you never want to put the bullpen in a compromising situation."

Collmenter's performance pleased manager Kirk Gibson, who used just three relievers on Saturday to give the rest of the bullpen a day of rest.

Evan Marshall, Brad Ziegler and closer Addison Reed each pitched a scoreless inning to preserve the one-run lead. Gibson should have close to a full bullpen at his disposal on Sunday.

The last time Collmenter faced the Mets was his first start of the season on April 14. He allowed three runs in four innings in a 7-3 loss.

Collmenter began Saturday's game with erratic control, in particular his fastball. He loaded the bases in the first inning and almost collided with Paul Goldschmidt when the Mets' Chris Young slid into first base on a dribbler between the mound and first.

"I was trying to be too fine with a walk, and then I couldn't come up with a play on Chris Young's ball there," Collmenter said. "It was spinning real bad and Goldy was right there. I figured the best thing I could do was grab it and lunge for the bag."

Collmenter was able to get out of the inning by striking out Lucas Duda.

Collmenter showed his resilience in the following five innings to earn his third consecutive win. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He also recorded four strikeouts.

"You want to save as many innings as possible for them," Collmenter said of the bullpen.

The D-backs were far from perfect on offense, yet they executed enough of their opportunities when they had baserunners in scoring position. They took a 2-0 lead when the first four batters reached base to start the second inning. Martin Prado and Cody Ross each drove in runs with singles.

The D-backs' third run, which came in the third inning, was manufactured by an error. Wilmer Flores' wild throw allowed Goldschmidt to reach first base. Aaron Hill moved Goldschmidt to third with a double. Prado, who led the D-backs with two hits, then drove Goldschmidt home with a single to left.

One of the few mistakes Collmenter committed was a changeup to David Wright that did not find the inside corner of the plate in the fifth. Wright connected and sent it into the bleachers in right field for his third homer of the season, cutting the D-backs' lead to 3-2.

Curtis Granderson drove in the Mets' first run in the third inning on a ground-rule double to right field. Daniel Murphy scored the run after his single to left.

The Mets had more scoring chances than the D-backs in the later innings. Yet the D-backs were able to strand eight runners on base.

Marshall found himself in trouble in the seventh inning with runners on first and second with one out. Wright, who led the Mets with three hits, was on deck. But Marshall was able to get Murphy into an inning-ending double play.

"He's shown a lot of composure for a young kid," Gibson said of Marshall. "He's made the pitch when he's had to make the pitch. We've had great results with him out there."

With the doubleheader next, Reed is hopeful the D-backs can sweep the Mets to end their road trip on a 3-3 record. And it will not bother Reed to work twice on Sunday in order to make the sweep happen.

"Hopefully," Reed said, "I can be in both games."

Nate Taylor is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.