Even using a number of apparent "ringers" - either that, or we sold half our minor league pitchers to Mexico - couldn't help Quintana Roo this afternoon, as the Diamondbacks rolled to a second consecutive comfortable victory over Mexican League opponents. Armando Galarraga pitched four perfect innings for Arizona, to lead our pitchers, and Chris Young drove in three runs. Derrick Hall is writing to Bud Selig as we speak, to suggest the introduction of a National League South-West, including us and four Mexican sides.
With that, the pre-season is over. The next time Arizona takes the stage will be on Friday, for their first game in Colorado. About time, too...
I'm not sure if we should take the fact that we lit up the Tigres pitching as a good thing or not, given Wade Miley got the start for them I'm assuming there was some kind of gentlemen's agreement to allow Diamondbacks to take the mound for both teams this afternoon: Barry Enright for the "real" Diamondbacks. Both went 3.2 innings, but neither were brilliant. Enright allowed two runs on six hits, with no walks and two strikeouts, though did get his first hit of the season. It was also our favorite ginger's 25th birthday today, so many happy returns to him there!
Enright's numbers were also a lot better than Miley's line of nine runs on eleven hits and a walk. That included both Justin Upton's third-inning homer, and a five-run fourth frame. Kelly Johnson, Melvin Mora, Young, Miguel Montero and Chris Owings (subbing for te still-injured Drew) all enjoyed a two-hit afternoon, while Ryan Roberts had a hit, a walk, and drove in two runs. On the subject of Drew's injury, Tony Abreu cleared waivers so is now with Triple-A Reno. Good to have a "proper" shortstop available, in the event that the abdominal strain does take longer to heal than expected, and Drew needs to hit the DL.
Elsewhere on the pitching for the Diamondbacks, J.J. Putz struck out the one batter he faced in the fourth, but did at least get the K with a splitter rather than his fastball. Armando Galarraga had a good showing, retiring all 12 batters he faced, and Aaron Heilman struck out the side around a hit in the ninth. For the Tigres, Daniel Stange struck out three of the four batters faced, including Xavier Nady and Roberts. Mora, Johnson and Roberts each stole a base, but Owings was picked off first. The crowd for today's game was 11,822, and my work - two blocks from Chase - got to call out the tow-truck for illegally-parked cars in our lot, for the first time this year.
Finally. The winter is over. The phantom season of spring is also completed. There's one last chance to catch our breath tomorrow, and watch as Opening Day unfolds in various spots around the country, then it will be on for us as well. I love the feeling of anticipation, excitement and hope, entirely untempered by actual results, which I feel right now.