Quotes of the day
- "I tell you what, I like pitching against this team. They play ball the right way. They have an approach at the plate, the whole lineup does, and they jump on your mistakes. It's a great team to pitch against. They're well coached."
-- Cubs pitcher, Jeff Samardzija
- "I definitely felt better and feel like I’m more where I need to be for the beginning of the season… I started throwing more curveballs. I’ve only thrown like four this spring. I’ve been kind of nervous because in the bullpen it hasn’t been there, but I decided to start throwing it in the game and it was a lot better."
-- Trevor Cahill
- "Everything was up. Fastball up and out of the zone, the strikes were at the top of the zone or belt high. He tried to throw his offspeed pitches to get him down and those were up, too."
-- Kirk Gibson, in regard to David Holmberg's outing.
Miley Misses Tomorrow
A slightly worrying note, with Wade Miley being scratched from his scheduled start tomorrow, due to some discomfort in his bicep. Kirk Gibson described it as "just a tired arm," but it is a little concerning in connection with this Nick Piecoro Tweet from a couple of days ago:
It's early, but scouts say LHP Wade Miley's velocity a bit down. Was 88-91 mph March 2 & 86-89 mph March 7. He averaged 91 mph last season.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) March 9, 2013
Miley, however, didn't seem too bothered. "We're just going to strengthen it back up and go from there. It's nothing serious, just a little tight and the ball isn't coming out the way I want it to, like a little dead arm a little bit, a little tired, I guess." In other injury news, Eric Chavez was a late scratch from the line-up as a precaution, after taking a bad hop groundball off the forehead while working out yesterday morning.
Eaton vs. Pollock
Not really a fight, but interesting to compare two articles on our young outfielders posted yesterday. On MLB.com, Adam Eaton discusses keeping a list of "the slights he has endured", giving an example of a college recruiter saying 'If you have two guys with the same attributes, a smaller guy and a taller guy, you always go with the taller guy.' He says "Stuff like that will get me through a workout." And on FSAZ, A.J. Pollock talks about how he ignores the depth chart. "I would never expect anything to be handed to me."I think it's only good that you've got competition. It makes everyone better... If my name is called, I'll be ready for it."
Eaton has actually been getting a lot of coverage over the past few days. Sports Illustrated's Albert Chen wrote about our likely lead-off guy, saying Eaton "personifies (the) new-look Diamondbacks" and proclaims Adam "is about to become one of the breakout stars of 2013." High praise? Well, not necessarily when Reno Aces' manager Brett Butler says of him, "I've gone as far as to say this: he's Mike Trout, without the pop." Having seen Eaton run into one this afternoon and deposit it onto the SRF grass, maybe not that much pop short, and Gibson said after today's game, "He's stronger than people think."
World Baseball Classic round-up
Just one game yesterday, but it was a stunner, as the Netherlands came from behind to shock Cuba, and become the first European team ever to reach the semi-finals. They looked doomed after Cuba scored twice in the top of the eighth to break a 6-4 tie, but Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run homer in the bottom half to bring the sides level. After a scoreless inning from Loek Van Mil, Kalian Sams hit a walk-off sacrifice fly; and if you've never heard of either player, you're probably not alone. By the time you read this, they'll have faced Japan to decide who wins Pool 1. Pool 2 starts in two hours in Miami, Italy facing the DR, with the USA taking on Puerto Rico tonight.
- One of the more unusual scores you'll see this year, as the Angels and Indians played to a 0-0 tie in Goodyear. Jeff Weaver (Anaheim) and Scott Kazmir (Cleveland) each allowed three hits over four shutout innings, and their respective bullpens also kept the opposition scoreless. At the other end, the Padres clubbed the A's 10-0 in Peoria, holding Oakland to four hits, while getting 13 themselves.
- What's it like to play in the majors for one game? Says one "Moonilight Graham" from the modern era: "The events in my life allowed me to just really, truly kind of hold on to that one at-bat, that one game, and just how precious they really are. And how fragile professional sports and athletes really are. It can be there one day and gone the next. I didn't dwell on it. I don't dwell on it."