Some of the best pitchers in the game also have been some of the baseball's most intimidating. Bob Gibson. Bob Feller. Sandy Koufax. Don Drysdale. Roger Clemens. Randy Johnson. Aroldis Chapman. But it can work the other way around, such as when a rookie pitcher was summoned in to face Barry Bonds in late-inning situations in 2002. Or if your Tyler Cloyd, and you are brought into the big leagues to face one of the league's top offenses, featuring one of the league's top hitters in one of baseball's most hitter-friendly ballparks. According to the run index stat, from the father of sabermetrics, Bill James, Chase Field is the NL's the second-most hitter-friendly park since 2010 (behind Coors Field) and the fifth friendliest in all of baseball. "It can intimidate anyone if that Louisville catches up with him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the home run haven in Phoenix. "Why would you get intimidated? That's the key to being great." Cloyd, stepping into the rotation in place of injured Roy Halladay, has a couple things going for him. It's not his first taste of the big leagues, so he shouldn't be as easily rattled. And he also seemed unconcerned when asked about the hitter-friendly environs of Chase Field. "For me, it's just another game," Cloyd said. "Obviously, I can only control the pitches the pitches I throw and how they go, so for me it's going out there, trusting my stuff as I always do, and keep the ball down." Some Phils pitchers have got bitten by the D-backs at Chase Field. In April 2010, Cole Hamels served up four home runs in a 7-4 defeat. Last April, Kyle Kendrick gave up seven runs on 11 hits in a 9-5 loss. Although Arizona traded its best hitter in January - Justin Upton, now in Atlanta, leads the NL in home runs - the D-backs' offense is one of the best in the league. Entering last night's game Arizona had scored 153 runs (fourth in the NL), hit 38 home runs (fifth), accumulated 488 total bases (second), and had a .411 slugging percentage (fourth) and .726 OPS (fourth).
Call-up Cloyd not intimidated by hitter-friendly Chase Field
Philly.com | May 10