In the quickest game of the Diamondbacks' spring so far, clocking in at a brisk one hour and fifty-seven minutes, the team sent only two batters over the minimum to the plate against a dominant Fausto Carmona, who has now allowed one run in 20 spring innings. He and a pair of Cleveland relievers pitched a three-hitter against the D-backs - no walks, and a double-play, led to the aforementioned 29 PAs for Arizona.
Ian Kennedy was hardly smacked about, allowing two runs in six innings, on five hits and no walks, keeping his spring ERA at a very acceptable 2.79. But a solo home-run to Grady Sizemore - not the first man to allow one to the slugger - with one out in the first, and a sacrifice fly in the sixth proved sufficient on the day for the Indians. Details , such as they are, after the jump.
From what I can see, the only time we got a runner past first-base all afternoon was following Stephen Drew's two-out double in the first: Miguel Montero failed to drive him home, and that was it for at-bats with runners in scoring position by us. Not that Cleveland steam-rollered us there either: they only had three such at-bats this afternoon, and were hitless in such situations. One can only imagine both teams were in a hurry to get to the Peoria Sandbar for tonight's midget wrestling extravaganza...
For obvious reasons, there isn't a great deal to be said about this contest, since if you blinked, you probably missed most of it. Oddly, we weren't the only Cactus League team to experience difficulty scoring runs this afternoon: three-quarters of the sixteen outfits in action, scored three runs or less [the Padres had a split squad, in case you were wondering]. In our offense's defense, if you see what I mean, it was mostly the B-squad out there, with Kelly Johnson, Drew and Montero the only expected starters: Montero had one of the other hits, with the third going to Rusty Ryal.
After Kennedy's six-pack of innings, it was good to see Clay Zavada pitch a perfect seventh inning - not seen much of that this spring from him. Leo Rosales allowed a couple of hits, I think with two outs in the eighth, but didn't suffer any damage and struck out a couple of batters too. Good to see the pitchers making the opposition earn their way onto base, not allowing any bases on balls this afternoon. Then again, none of our hitters managed it either: it really seemed like Cleveland and Arizona were in a hurry to be somewhere else.
Couple of minor points, from Nick Piecoro. He says outfield prospect A.J. Pollock underwent elbow surgery on Friday, to fix a fractured growth plate - he'll miss three months, but the overall prognosis is excellent, according to his agent. "There’s a 99.9 percent success rate. It’s not going to impede his ability to play at an elite level in the future." Pollock was the #17 overall pick last year, so it would have been a blow if the procedure had not been as routine as it apparently is. Elsewhere, looks like Zach Kroenke could be on his way out: when Nick asked AJ Hinch about him, "we got a sort of long-winded answer that didn’t seem particularly flattering." Jordan Norberto vs. Zavada for the final spot looks likely.