On a Wednesday that started with doom and gloom for the Colorado Rockies, the day was saved by a very unlikely hero.
With Jon Gray placed on the 60-day injured list with a fractured foot earlier in the day, the Colorado Rockies needed an emergency starter for the series finale in Arizona. They turned to journeyman Tim Melville who, in turn, produced the outing of his Major League career.
Two years to the day after his last Major League start, the 29-year-old Melville turned in one of the best pitching performances of the season for the Rockies, throwing seven innings of one-run ball as Colorado avoided the sweep in Phoenix with a 7-2 win over the Diamondbacks.
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The Rockies desperately needed some kind of shot in the arm after seeing Gray go down and Kyle Freeland likely join him on the injured list soon with a strained groin. Melville provided just that.
Added to the 40-man roster right before his start and meeting many of his teammates and manager Bud Black for the first time, Melville worked with catcher Dom Nunez, both of whom knew each other well from their days in Triple-A to completely befuddle the Diamondbacks. He surrendered just two hits on the day and, at one point, retired 11 straight Arizona batters.
The former fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals outperformed every expectation Rockies fans had for him on this blistering hot day in the desert. In just his fourth Major League start, Melville not only earned his first win in a Colorado uniform but also his first MLB victory.
Oh, and he also had his first Major League hit (an RBI single) and drove in two runs. How about that?
In three previous career starts (twice with Cincinnati in 2016 and once with Minnesota in 2017), he had given up 16 hits in 10.1 combined innings. To say Wednesday was his best professional start simply can’t be refuted. And it came at a time when Colorado needed something positive to happen on the seven-game road trip. Melville did just that before the Rockies took off for a four-game series in St. Louis.
Will Melville come back to earth in his next start at Coors Field? Who knows. For today, and maybe just for today, Melville gave the Rockies exactly what they needed just when they needed it … something that has happened rarely in a very disappointing season.