It was our first chance to see the new leaner, meaner Trevor Cahill in action this afternoon, but in the light of today's results, he might want to consider adding dairy and gluten back to his diet. He didn't retire any of the first three batters faced, who went walk, single, double, to give the Cubs the lead before they had recorded an out. With men on second and third, significantly more was a distinct possibility. However, Cahill did a good job of limiting the damage to a sacrifice fly, and had a much better second inning, going 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts. His final line was two runs on two hits and a walk over two innings, with a pair of strikeouts. On his 25th birthday, too.
Patrick Corbin followed Cahill to the mound, and seems to have solidified his hold on the fifth rotation spot, with another very solid performance. While neither Tyler Skaggs nor Randall Delgado have impressed to date - that's putting it mildly, given their combined line of 13 hits and 12 runs, nine earned, in just 3.1 innings - Corbin has now thrown five shutout inning, allowing four hits, two walks and striking out eight batters. Today, he allowed a couple of two out singles in the third, before fanning Nate Schierholz, allowed a single and a walk with two outs in the fourth, then fanned David DeJesus, and finished with a perfect fifth, including a K of Anthony Rizzo.
The rest of the pitching this afternoon was no less solid, though to be fair, the hitters being faced after the fifth were largely wearing numbers more often associated with defensive linesmen. Heath Bell got through his inning of work in the sixth with only an error separating him from a perfect inning. David Hernandez went one better in the seventh, striking out the first two batters he faced, and completing his 1-2-3 frame with a groundout. Tony Sipp gave up a two-out triple, but escaped any damage, and Garret Mock also gave up a hit, but closed things out without allowing the Cubs to add on to their first inning tallies.
After falling two runs behind at that point, the Diamondbacks quickly came back, as a single and two walks loaded the bases in the second with nobody out. Mark Teahen then hit into a double-play, but it did score the man from third. We tied things up in the fourth, a pair of walks propelling Paul Goldschmidt into scoring position, and Teahen delivered more successfully this time, singling Goldzilla home. The big inning, however, was the sixth, where Arizona scored four times on only two hits. There were also three walks, two of which came when the bases were loaded, and an error, with Tony Campana getting the big blow, a two-run double.
The Diamondbacks only out-hit the Cubs by the slimmest of margins, 8-7, and the home team actually had more extra-base hits - Campana had both ours, against his old team, adding a triple late in the game. The key difference this afternoon were the free passes handed out like candy on Halloween by the Cubs pitchers. They walked no less than eight batters, and while only three actually scored, the others were significant, in that they advanced runners already on the bases - without them, we would probably have scored only one, or at most two runs. Brad Snyder, Eric Hinske and Goldschmidt had two each; A..J. Pollock joined Campana in getting a pair of hits.
The victory means we have a winning record for the first time this spring, moving to 4-3, and the two runs allowed are also the best overall number by our pitching staff, so will help get our team ERA going in the right direction. Tomorrow, it's back to Salt River Fields for the D-backs, as they take on the Rangers. Wade Miley is scheduled to start, with Delgado due to follow, as the three competitors for the fifth spot complete their second turns.