Arizona Diamondbacks starter Tyler Skaggs was recalled from Triple-A Reno on Friday to replace an injured Trevor Cahill, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Monday with a right hip contusion, and turned in a masterful outing against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field.
Skaggs worked eight scoreless innings, surrendering just three hits (all singles) and striking out five while walking one. The outing was arguably the best of the young southpaw’s career, as he lasted a career-long eight innings and held the Rockies scoreless for his third career victory.
A first-round (40th overall) draft pick out of Santa Monica High School (CA) in 2009 by the Los Angeles Angels, Skaggs made his big league debut late last season for the Diamondbacks, posting a 1-3 record and 5.83 ERA in six starts.
Skaggs made his 2013 debut on May 27 against the Texas Rangers, pitching six scoreless innings en route to his second big league victory. Skaggs would make two more starts before being sent back down to Reno where he would remain for almost a month until his return on Friday.
In his most recent start prior to Friday’s game, Skaggs surrendered five runs on eight hits over five innings of work as Arizona would go on to lose to the San Francisco Giants 2-6.
Skaggs’ pitch arsenal was impressive on Friday, garnering the attention of not only his teammates, but also that of his opposition.
“He reminded me of Barry Zito when he was with Oakland,” said Colorado right fielder Michael Cuddyer. “He had a two-seamer away and then in the middle innings he started throwing that curveball, which is a plus-plus curveball. It was very reminiscent of Zito in Oakland.”
The Diamondbacks had last played a game at home on June 23 against the Cincinnati Reds, posting a 3-7 record on their 10-game road trip.
“After the road trip we needed him to come out and eat some innings up,” Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “For him to go eight, and obviously not give up any runs as well, was huge. He set the tone early, was working quick. That was humongous tonight.
Skaggs certainly set the tone early and came up big for the Diamondbacks on Friday, leading Arizona to their third straight victory and increasing their lead to 3 1/2 games over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West standings with a 45-41 season record.