"Concerned" is probably the operative word, Ian Kennedy allowing nine hits and two walks in five innings of work, leading to five earned runs. The big blow was Michael Brantley's three-run homer in the first inning, but by all accounts, there were a lot of hard-hit balls off the bats of the Indians this afternoon. On the plus side, Kennedy did strike out seven batters; though one was Mark Reynolds, which probably should only count as a half. But with just one outing left between Kennedy and being our Opening Day starter, it wasn't quite what we wanted to see, and I'll be interested to see if there was any explanation. Hopefully not related to the blow to the knee he took last start.
The rest of the D-backs pitching was much better, though we should bear in mind that the later innings still seemed to be a parade of hitters who are unlike to be troubling a roster on April 1st [Is it just me, or do position players not seem to be going deeper into games yet?] Hence, we should probably take with a grain of salt, the four shutout innings of two-hit ball, with one walk and six strikeouts, pitched in a conglomerated style by J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler, Matt Reynolds and Joe Paterson. Sadly, the changes meant we didn't even get to see an M. Reynolds vs. M. Reynolds battle at the plate. Paterson gave us the only perfect inning, but Reynolds K'd three after a lead-off single.
On offense, it was a similar tale this afternoon, with the Arizona hitters doing a good job against the Cleveland starter, with eight hits in the first five innings. The big blow was a three-run shot of our own, this one coming off the bat of Martin Prado, following singled by Kennedy and Adam Eaton. That tied the game briefly at four, though the Indians retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning, with what would prove to be the last run of the day. Our other tally came in the first, Aaron Hill doubling home Eric Chavez. who had singled with two outs.
After Carlos Carrasco left the game, the hits and scoring chances largely dried up, with two hits and a walk over the final four innings, and the Diamondbacks weren't able to close the one-run gap. Their best chance probably came in the sixth inning, when Miguel Montero singled, and Hinske walked, to lead things off. However, the next three hitters all made outs, and that was our last, best hope. Eaton and Chavez each had a pair of hits - Eaton also stole a base (and it was nice to see him back in the starting line-up too). Hinske reached base safely twice, with a walk and a hit. The former was our sole one of the day, though we had a fairly lowly six strikeouts.
It was the seventh consecutive sell-out at Salt River Fields for the team, and Sunday's game - which also happens to be SnakePit SpringTrainingFest - is also already in that category. However, tomorrow sees us going up against the Indians again, this time on their home turf in Goodyear. Trevor Cahill will take his turn there, I suspect.