It took a while. But, after the scoreless streak had been extended to 24 innings, with another three to start off tonight's contest, the Diamondbacks finally scored a run. Okay, so it was a direct result of the Rockies' third-baseman making an error on the play, and the score was already 7-0 to Colorado by that point, but after the dismal offensive failures of the past couple of games, we'd have settled for any run, even one resulting from catcher's interference, a balk, wild pitch and groundout. Beggars can't be choosers, and of late, the Arizona offense has had its cap in hand far too often for our liking.Actually, tonight's performance was one of the better ones by our hitters of late, as they outhit the Rockies by a margin of 10-7, and each side had one home-run and made a couple of errors. However, the difference was that Colorado's shot came from CarGon, with two on base and before Josh Collmenter had recorded an out; Ours was a solo shot in the ninth, and came from a player you've probably never heard of: Jonathan Griffin, But he may be one to watch. Our 21st-round pick last June, he did pretty well as Missoula, batting .295 and hitting 18 HR in only 71 games. The 6'7" Griffin was described in December as "the biggest hitter in all of professional baseball."
Never say this site isn't educational. Oh, and as well as blasting what was supposedly the longest home-run in Salt River Fields' (brief) history, Griffin has a Twitter feed, if you want to add him to your roster [Hat-tip to Archie Bradley for that nugget] You should, of course, also be aware of Gerardo Parra's Twitter feed, though the game there seems to be seeing how many followers he can accumulate, without actually making a single Tweet! Currently, he is up to almost 300, without a word...
Tonight's defeat means just three wins over almost two weeks and 13 games of spring training, it seems Kirk Gibson's patience is likely growing thin, with Nick Piecoro saying Cap'n Kirk "isn't pleased" with the results to date. Gibson said, "I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t thinking about why (we’re struggling). If I didn’t care about it, I wouldn’t go run up and down Camelback in about 10 minutes. I take everything personally. We know we can swing the bats. Yeah, it’s spring, but we want to get them going... We’ve got to figure it out and get on track." But as Nick points out, it's more important to be swinging the bats well at the end of spring, not the beginning.
Chris Young continues to defy the trend, with two more hits and a walk this evening, meaning he is now hitting .471 (8-for-17) with a 1.550 OPS. Of course, if we're going to discount the bad, we can't put too much stock in the good either; however, CY did tell Steve Gilbert on Monday that he has tweaked his swing. "I just have my hands slotted a little different, working on pitch selection and working on being down through the ball [more] than I was last year. More of a downward plane just to stay above the ball, you know give me more room for error. Even if I do expand my zone a little bit, if my swing path is better and more consistent, I'll get a lot more hits out of it." So we'll see...
Ryan Roberts also picked up a couple of hits, but the team struggled again with runners in scoring position, managing only one hit there, despite scoring four runs. As well as the error and home-run noted previously, Young's two-run single in the fifth represented the only other productive plate-appearance of the evening for Arizona. There were also two errors charged to John McDonald and Paul Goldschmidt: both came in the same inning, and proved costly, as a three-run double followed with two outs in the inning, giving Colorado a seven-run lead that never really looked under threat the rest of the way.
Josh Collmenter got the start for the Diamondbacks and struggled early, the Rockies going walk, single, homer to start the bottom of the first inning. He did settle down thereafter, retiring six of the next seven batters he faced, and given he missed his last outing, health is more important than numbers. He reported no ill-effects after the game, saying "My arm felt real good. It felt good warming up in the bullpen and good out there. It was just a matter of, I guess, executing and taking care of that, as opposed to worrying about my arm... It felt like I hadn't been on the mound in a while, and I think in the first inning I was little excited, kind of jumpy."
Wade Miley came in for the third through the fifth, and as noted above, the defense didn't help his cause. Miley got better as he went on: after allowing three hits in his opening frame, including a homer, the sequel resulted in just a single, and the finale was a clean 1-2-3 frame. He ended with a line of four hits over three innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. J.J. Putz, Craig Breslow and Mike DeMark finished things off, and they were all perfect, as Arizona retired the last 14 Colorado hitters in order. Putz was perhaps the most impressive, striking out two of the three batters he faced, though DeMark matched that in the ninth.
A quieter Gameday Thread, but a special hat-tip to NASCARbernet for his play-by-play work. He led all commenters, with SongBird and Clefo completing the podium positions; Bcawz, Jim McLennan, BattleMoses, txzona, PR151, blue bulldog and Bauer47 also present. Tomorrow we play the "engine room of the Cactus League," going to Hohokam to face the Cubs. Ian Kennedy is scheduled to start, though has apparently been battling the dreaded "flu-like symptoms" of late, so we'll see if he is fit to go.