Here's what our siblings over at Lone Star Ball had to say about this afternoon's game: "A bunch of Rangers' minor leaguers graciously stayed behind to give the Arizona Diamondbacks something to do before Opening Day. These young Rangers will be made sacrifices to the Trevor Cahill slaughter. Someone named Jerad Eickhoff will make the start for the Rangers." Exactly. It appears Texas had already folded their tents and sent their wagon train down the I-10 on the way back to Arlington. Tomorrow, it's just us, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Kansas City playing in Arizona, and the Royals head out tomorrow night. It's almost over, folks.
Given the above, Trevor Cahill's 5.2 innings without an earned run, in his final warm-up, is probably deserving of no more exuberant thought than, "I'm glad he didn't get hurt." Even the fact that he struck out 11 batters and didn't walk anyone, just makes me feel slightly guilty about how our big, bad major leaguer spent the afternoon beating up on a bunch of ickle kids, like Randy Johnson playing Dodgeball [I hadn't noticed before, how in that commercial, the Big Unit is wearing a completely generic uniform, without any identifying MLB trademarks!] The only damage off Cahill was a one-out triple in the first, which came home an out later, on an error by Paul Goldschmidt.
The rest of the pitchers were a mixed bag. Joe Paterson got the final out of the sixth, but David Hernandez allowed a run in the seventh after a lead-off triple. Matt Reynolds allowed a hit in the eighth, but put up a zero, and the team belated realized there wasn't much point in sending up any more major-leaguers in the ninth, Bryan Woodall allowing a run on two hits. Normally, an overall K:BB ratio of 15:1, four days before the first game of the season, would be reason for good cheer. But, again... This falls more into the realm of expected result than any particular reason for increased optimism.
Among the hitters, the leader for Arizona was Garrett Weber, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a pair also driven in. A.J. Pollock also picked up a couple of hits, and Didi Gregorius drew two walks. However, Pollock was caught stealing, and there were errors by Goldschmidt (who did successfully steal a base), Wil Nieves and Josh Parr. About whom I know as much as I do about Weber. With the two sides combining for six errors, this wasn't exactly the kind of crisp game one would expect to see, but given the circumstances and recent events, I just have to go with my earlier sentiment and repeat: I'm glad no-one was hurt.
Tomorrow, it's Chase Field for a Friday night game, as the concession stand people get their spring training in, for a crowd in actual attendance that probably wouldn't tax capacity Salt River Fields. It's the Reds we'll be facing, and we trust the actual Reds, not some passers-by pressganged into pulling on Cincinnati jerseys.