They call him "Tomahawk." Right-hander Josh Collmenter has been given several nicknames, actually, but "Tomahawk" makes sense because when he pitches, his delivery is so over the top that it looks like he's throwing a tomahawk. It also makes him sound intimidating, which Collmenter's isn't, at least in terms of velocity. His featured pitch, the cutter, goes about 88 mph. No matter that he lacks flash, Collmenter has been effective for the Arizona Diamondbacks by changing speeds and being unpredictable with location. He has compiled a 3.39 ERA over 44 starts and nearly 400 innings since his rookie season in 2011.
Collmenter has never been better than he was Thursday night, when he pitched a three-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. Collmenter struck out five and walked none and, because of three double plays, he faced the minimum 27 batters in a 4-0 victory at Chase Field. He's only the 13th pitcher since 1914 to allow three or more hits and face the minimum 27 batters in a nine-inning game.
The result won't go down in history as a perfect game, but it was nearly as efficient. Via the Associated Press:
''In the eighth I looked up just to see and at that point you're kind of cognizant of what you have to do,'' Collmenter said. ''You get those guys, then you set yourself up for seven, eight and the pinch hitter.''
Reds manager Bryan Price, whose team has lost five of six after being shut out for the sixth time, tried to be diplomatic:
''We didn't barrel many balls. In part credit to him and in part a testament to the fact that we haven't been swinging the bats very well.''
Collmenter isn't going to get full credit because he doesn't throw an exploding fastball. That's OK. He's got his ERA and a considerable nickname arsenal — notably "Tomahawk."
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