Rod Barajas and "stolen base" are not words that got together very often - unless you're talking about his inability to prevent them, which reached utterly epic levels last season. But on the basepaths himself? He has two SB in his major-league career. Even in spring (I found stats going back to 2006), when he'd presumably be feel all sprightly, he has only one. Which is something considering Barajas has been around for a while - in his 1999 debut, he played alongside both Lenny Harris and Dan Plesac. They were, however, genuine steals, not sitting on the back end of a double steal. Curiously, the last one came when with Toronto in 2009... with Aaron Hill at the plate.
The only non-pitcher in the modern era with 1,000 games and fewer stolen-bases than Barajas is Gus Triandos, who played 1,206 games for five different teams from 1953 to 1965, and was successful in his only attempt. [That stolen base came in the last game of the 1958 season, at Yankee Stadium, off a rookie pitcher and third-string catcher, since the Yankees were saving their regular batteries for the upcoming World Series] Rod has the least SB by any active player with a thousand games. Unless Wes Helms makes it back. the next-lowest have four, including Adrian Gonzalez. If Barajas makes the Opening Day roster, something to watch for!
Anyhoo... Back at the game this afternoon, Brandon McCarthy worked through traffic, but the bottom line is two runs over six innings of work, I think making him the first starter to go six frames this pre-season for the Diamondbacks. Randall Delgado and Trevor Cahill each worked five in their last outings, but I think this is a high-water mark for our pitchers. He certainly saw a lot of hitters, facing a total of 27 batters, in part because he allowed ten hits and a walk, with three K's - McCarthy also benefited from a couple of double-plays. All the damage came in the bottom of the third, when he allowed a lead-off home-run, followed by a double which came round to score on a couple of outs.
After McCarthy, Brad Ziegler came in and worked a perfect seventh inning, with one strikeout. Tony Sipp benefited from some philosophical help in the eighth, as outfielder Socrates Brito gunned down a runner at the plate, with the help of Tuffy Gosewisch [truly a baseball name marriage made in heaven]; Sipp allowed that hit and two walks. Enrique Burgos got the save: he allowed a leadoff walk to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Tuffy nailed the runner trying to steal, and Burgos got the next two outs to preserve the win. Final tally for out pitchers today was a bit mediocre, with four walks and five strikeouts, though the bottom line of two runs allowed is fine.
The Diamondbacks got on the board early, Willie Bloomquist getting things going with a double to lead the contest off, and scoring on a single from Martin Prado. The lead was then doubled when A.J. Pollock opened things in the next frame, with his second home-run of the season. That was it until the eighth, when Arizona got some good two-out action cooking, successive singles from Brito and Taylor Harbin being followed by a balk, and both men then came home when Ryan Court came through in the clutch, with a two-run go-ahead single that completed scoring for the day.
We got a dozen hits, two for Prado, while Gerardo Parra reached base twice, on a hit and a walk - everything else was spread out, with two walks and eight strikeouts collectively. Nice to see Tony Campana apparently capable of swinging a bat, as he recovers from the hand spiking which has taken him out of action for the past week: he came in as a replacement for Cliff Pennington in the bottom of the seventh. It was a bit lethal on the basepaths for the D-backs. As well as Barajas getting nailed, Court was over-excited by his single and got himself picked off, and Paul Goldschmidt, after successfully stealing second, went a base too far and was caught trying to take third.
The win brings up back up to a .500 record this spring, at 12-12 with two ties and a rainout. Tomorrow, it's the Indians at Salt River Field, think Ian Kennedy is the scheduled starter, as we get into the penultimate starts for our rotation before Opening Day.