Dusk at Salt River Fields
For reasons that will be explained eventually, I was going to write the entire recap of the SnakePit Spring Training Fest in German. However, you'll be pleased to hear the idea seemed rather less sensible in the cold light of morning - or, at least, rather more work - so has been set aside. It would, however, have captured beautifully the wonderful surrealness of the evening which, as well as plans for world domination, naturally included the SnakePit losing their collective heads in the direction of a player who isn't even on the Diamondbacks.
I'm going to go have breakfast with Mrs. SnakePit, then come back and recap that side of the event. But let's get the baseballish things out of the way, after the jump.It looked like it was going to be another one of "those" starts for Trevor Cahill, after the first swing of the game deposited a bomb quite some way in to the right-field lawn, about 40 feet towards center and maybe 20 over our heads. That's the fifth home-run he has allowed this spring, and no pitcher in the Cactus League has given up more; not quite what you want from a sinker-baller. Three of the next four Kansas City batter to face him also reached, scoring another run and putting runners on the corners with one out. Poor Kishi, whose last game at SRF ended in a 16-3 loss, was cowering.
However, something suddenly clicked. Cahill struck out the next batter, escaped the inning without further damage, and indeed, retired ten in a row from the second run scoring. He ended with a decent line, of two runs in 4.2 innings on five hits and a walk. Most impressive was perhaps the six strikeouts, giving him 14 in 12.2 spring frames. He said afterward, "It's definitely a confidence builder," he said. "I had been struggling, and as you get closer to the season, you start to worry a little bit. After the first, I was worrying a little bit again. I kind of settled down, relaxed and felt a lot more comfortable." Us too, Trev: us too...
After a Mike Zagurski cameo ended the fifth, the ball was handed to Tyler Skaggs. This did not go well - ironic, since he was given the organization's award as minor league pitcher for 2011 pre-game [Goldie was the hitter]. The Royals got seven hits and a walk in three innings, though he did K four, walking one. Kirk Gibson thought Skaggs was over-throwing, perhaps due to coming out of the bullpen. "They put some good swings on him," said Gibson. "It's just important in the Major Leagues that you locate to be successful." While I wouldn't be surprised if this was Skaggs's last outing in this spring training camp, there will be others. Brad Ziegler worked a scoreless ninth.
Arizona got on the board in the fourth, when a Chris Young double was followed by an RBI singled from Paul Goldschmidt, We then tied the game at three in the sixth, with the help of a couple of Royals errors - including one by a name we might remember, Tony Abreu - and a delightful Gerardo Parra bunt single. The Diamondbacks made a game of it in the eighth, scoring two to pull us within one, but Archie Gilbert [I'm not sure who he is: either a player from minor-league camp, or someone who snuck down from the stands in a D-backs uniform] was rather easily thrown out at the plate as the tying run, ending the inning and our scoring.
Goldschmidt and Parra each picked up a couple of hits, while Young reached safely twice on a walk and a hit. Later today, Josh Collmenter will take on the Padres over at the Peoria Sports Complex, which should also see the return of Jason Kubel, who has been missing with quad tightness. And here at the 'Pit, jjwaltrip delivered on his promise to "dominate" with 60 comments, ahead of hotclaws and blue bulldog: Also taking part in the thread were Jim McLennan, txzona, Bauer47, NASCARbernet, SongBird, snakecharmer, Stupendous Man, CaptainCanuck, egboyz, soco, PR151 and rfffr.
And with that, off to breakfast. The more informal recap will follow in a bit.