A lockdown performance tonight would probably have all but guaranteed Patrick Corbin the fifth starter's job. He can only hope that Kevin Towers went to the bathroom during the third inning of the contest against the Indians at Goodyear. Over the rest of his start, Corbin was excellent: four shutout innings, on two hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. But in the third, things went... kinda weird. He alternated walks and whiffs until the bases were loaded - that'd be three walks - with two outs, both by the K. Then he allowed a two-run single, and finally escaped any more damage with the help of a Cleveland TOOTBLAN, by getting the runner on second as he tried to take third.
As a result of all that, the bottom line at the end of the night for Corbin, was five innings pitched, three hits and three walks allowed, with four strikeouts and two runs, both earned, leaving his pre-season ERA almost unchanged, at 3.66. He's likely still ahead, but if Randall Delgado can have another good outing, like his last couple, then you might be as well flipping a coin. I've never been convinced about the "competing for spots in spring training" thing, because over the course of such a short period, luck can result in entirely meaningless stats, as we already documented, for both hitters and pitchers. But I think I'll be fairly happy whether it's Corbin or Delgado. .
After that David Hernandez came in, and allowed three runs in an ugly sixth inning, which included a home-run to Mark Reynolds, and now has a Cactus ERA of 12.60. shoewizard expressed some concern in the GDT., perhaps worth repeating: "First the early velo reports, then talking to a fried who told me that as velo has come up, movement not there yet. That was about 8-9 days ago. And his last several outings he's been getting knocked around and it's starting to get late in spring. You'd like to see him "rounding into shape" about now." It could be the lack of work when with the WBC squad has left him lagging.
Josh Collmenter picked up the save - his second of the pre-season, since he also got it in the 9-1 win over the Dodgers last Sunday, courtesy of the "three effective innings" rule. Here, the lead was smaller, but the result was the same: a trio of shutout innings, albeit one more largely against the kind of hitters who turn up in the late innings of spring training games. Three hits, no walks and a pair of a strikeouts, saw Josh lower his pre-season ERA to 2.57, so he seems ready to face slightly more challenging opposition.
On offense, we took advantage of some Cleveland gaffes, and that was likely the difference in the final result, as most of our runs tonight were unearned. Two came home on an Asdrubal Cabrera error in the second, with Gerardo Parra adding another with a groundout: Parra had three RBIs on the night, also getting an RBI double in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Mark Teahen enjoyed a really good night: he came to the plate three times, got a hit on each occasion, and came around to score every time too. With a line of .333/.429/.472, he hasn't disgraced himself, though see the above comments about random fluctuations. Cliff Pennington had a hit, a walk and two runs.
Tomorrow, it's off to Surprise (surprise!) for another encounter with the Kansas City Frenchies. Having lost the previous two by a combined score of 24-5, we'll certainly be hoping for better.