Arizona Diamondbacks: Zack Godley could rise among elite pitchers

With seven shutout innings Monday night, Zack Godley dropped his ERA to 0.64. (Norm Hall / Getty Images)
With seven shutout innings Monday night, Zack Godley dropped his ERA to 0.64. (Norm Hall / Getty Images) /

Right-hander Zack Godley of the Arizona Diamondbacks tossed seven shutout innings and lowered his ERA to 0.64.

While the transaction may have been a minor bleep on the radar screen of the Arizona Diamondbacks, this could turn out as rather significant. That’s because right-hander Zack Godley may turn into the surprise of the season.

Since the Arizona Diamondbacks sought his services in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in December 2014, Godley, without fanfare and pomp, quietly took matters into his own hands and eventually crafted a spot within the starting rotation. Despite a losing 8-9 record a year ago, the Bamberg, South Carolina native recorded a very creditable 3.37 ERA and turned heads along the way. While his signature sinker remains his “out-pitch,” Godley has added an effective curve and has put up staggering numbers.

So effective Monday night that he recorded all nine strikeouts in his 2-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park on curves. Plus, movement on his pitches clearly kept the Giants off-balance as this remains Godley’s modus-operandi. Limiting the Giants to four hits in seven solid innings, Godley picked up the baton left by Taijuan Walker through his strong six innings Sunday in St. Louis.

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Yet, there is something compelling about Godley. His mannerisms in the clubhouse are quiet and conversations with the media cordial and respectful. Answers to reporter’s questions are simple and usually peppered with several “I don’t know.”

What’s evident now is that Godley knows precisely what transpires during each moment in a game. While intense and focused, Godley told Call to the Pen during spring training that a former coach advised, “do not get too wind up on every pitch. You’ll go insane, and so I focus on situations which are a high priority,” Godley said after a spring start.

After his second start of this season in the Bay Area, Godley ran his mark to 2-0 and lowered an already microscopic ERA to 0.64, Godley told FOX Sports after his win Monday that he merely took advantage of what was presented.

"“They were aggressive,” he said in reference to the Giants going after his curve ball. “I just threw it. I try and get hitters to hit the ball in play and let my fielders do the rest. Our defense is awesome.”"

Traditionally, Godley’s curve breaks down and in to right-handed hitters and augments his sinker. Combined, balls are routinely hit on the ground, and Godley allows few in the air. That fact did not escape manager Torey Lovullo, who told FOX Sports Arizona that Godley was vintage against the Giants.

"“Zack was able to get a lot of swings and misses, and when that happens, he’s the most effective,’ Lovullo said. “(Monday night), he was very consistent with swings and misses and gave us a quality start.”"

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A two-run first inning held up For Arizona. Powered by a triple from Paul Goldschmidt, that scored Ketel Marte, Goldschmidt scored the game-winner on a sacrifice fly from A. J. Pollock.

Leftovers …

The win pushed the Arizona Diamondbacks to an 8-2 record to start the season. That ties with the 2008 team for the best start in franchise history. … With the victory Sunday in St Louis, Torey Lovullo recorded his 100th win as Arizona’s manager.

That happened in his 171st  game in Sedona Red and became the fastest active manager to reach 100 victories. As well, Lovullo became the fastest manager in franchise history to reach 100 wins. … The 13 runs scored in the first inning in their opening 10 games is third best in the National League for scoring in the initial frame. The Nationals have scored 16 and the Phillies 14 runs in the first inning.

Next: Lovullo apologizes to Molina & we're not buying it

Lefty Patrick Corbin goes for his third straight win Tuesday in the middle game of the three-game set with the Giants at AT&T Park. Corbin draws veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto as his mound opponent.