KANSAS CITY- Mo. Zack Godley is making a name for himself at the big league level. When Shelby Miller went on the disabled list, that opened the door for Godley to show what he could do.
In his first full season in the big leagues, he is 8-9 with a 3.08 ERA and 163 strikeouts. “I came in to try and help the team win ballgames after a huge loss. God gave me the ability and the opportunity. I’m just glad I could take advantage of it.
On the season, Godley has eight wins and he reflected on those. He realizes that regular season wins are nice, but there is still a lot more to look ahead to this season. “Winning a ball game is winning a ball game. One that means the most would be to pitch a big game in the postseason. As of right now, everything we have done up until now is really and truly just got us here. We got to keep going.”
This season we have seen Godley shine as a power pitcher. With the strikeout total he has achieved, he attributes that success to consistency. Being able to locate all his pitches. “All my pitches have worked and helped me out a lot. My curveball has probably been my best pitch this year. Just being able to keep guys off balance.”
In the two stops with the Diamondbacks and with Reno Aces, Godley has a total of 192 strikeouts, (163, and 29 respectively) only eight shy of the coveted 200 in a season. He was not fazed by those numbers, but yet appreciative of the achievement.
Anytime there is success, there is an increase in workload. Godley talked about what he’s been able to do to keep things going. “Just putting the work in. In the weight room and in between starts, continuing to understand what my body needs to keep doing what I need to do for the duration of the season.”
Going back to Reno didn’t seem to have an effect on Godley. “All I could do was when the time came that they wanted to send me down, was to take the opportunity to continue to put in the work. Continue to throw strikes and get guys out and hopefully I would be back up soon.”
Being a starter for the 2017 season and having success in that role, Godley finds himself shifting gears, pitching out of the bullpen for the season series finale with the Royals and into the postseason. I asked him about if his approach would change at all. “All I can do is continue to go out and try to get guys out whenever they ask me to do that. Whether that be starting or out of the bullpen. All I can do is to try and do whatever I can to help contribute to this team winning a World Series. Always have the same approach. You have to change up your preparation. You have to get ready to go before the game and then have everything locked in so that whenever your name is called, come out and do the same thing you’ve been doing.”
On having to establish himself at the big league level due to the organization’s needs, Godley talked about the difference doing it here rather than in the minor leagues. “The biggest thing I’ve taken away from being here, is you have to eliminate your mistakes and also you have to make sure you throw strikes. Attacking hitters is I think probably one of the biggest things you could ever do at the big league level. So many guys get pitched around, the worst thing you could do is fall behind guys, as that’s when you get in trouble. The biggest thing for me was attacking guys, and going at people no matter who they were.”
On being traded from the Cubs to the Diamondbacks, “It was kind of mind-blowing. I just got drafted the year before. I just finished my first full season of professional baseball. Then at the end of that year, I was graduating and getting engaged as well. I got traded two days before that, so for me, it was a whirlwind of emotions all at once. I didn’t know what to expect coming into a new organization. I had no idea what it meant for me one way or the other. This team (Arizona) saw something in me as a starter, and they gave me that opportunity. Then there were some unfortunate events that year with Chase Anderson (now with the Brewers) getting hurt. That opened up a door for me to have a chance to throw, and I threw pretty well, and that kept giving myself opportunities.