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The pitching was a little better than yesterday, and so was the hitting, but the net result was the same - Arizona's fifth defeat in six games. A John McDonald error led to two unearned runs, and might have been the difference maker. Maybe he was nervous about a possible future replacement making his first appearance as a Diamondback?
Seemed like a bit of a short outing for Wade Miley today, as he only went two innings despite not allowing a hit. He did walk a couple of people, but generally, you'd expect starters to be stretching themselves out gradually over spring. Looks like Wade faced a couple of batters fewer than he did on his first start, March 2. However, it doesn't appear there was any kind of injury issues. Instead, seems there were a lot of long at-bats in the second inning, with hitters fouling pitches off and making him work more than expected, hence his non-appearance for the third. It was a better result than last time, certainly, when he allowed three runs in his two innings.
Not such a good day, particularly on the injury front, for Tony Campana, whose steal attempt in the first inning, after a leadoff single, went horribly awry. His hand was stepped on by the Brewers' fielder, and the resulting cleat-created gash required eight stitches and just missed the tendon up by the knuckle, according to manager Kirk Gibson after the game. So it could have been worse, but Mike Moustakas probably regards it as payback for his bloody lip yesterday. Speaking of which, Jack Magruder tweeted that Gibson doesn't seem to care much about Moustakas's opinion: "I don't give a (expletive) what he thinks." Damn straight: man up, rub some dirt on it and play on.
Today, Arizona had a chance to score in the first, even after Campana got squished, loading the bases with one out. However, Eric Chavez grounded into a force, which saw A.J. Pollock nailed at the plate, and Rod Barajas flew out. It was scoreless in the second two, but the teams traded two-spots in the third, both taking advantage of the other side's fielding miscue. Pollock reached base safely on an error to get the top half under way, and with two outs, Chavez hit his first home-run as a Diamondbacks to left center, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead.
But it didn't last long, as a pair of Milwaukee tallies came off Joe Paterson in the bottom half. It was strangely symmetrical as he also allowed a two-out, two-run homer, this one to Alex Gonzalez, and both those runs were also unearned. He should have been out of the inning, but for the Brewers' leadoff man also reaching safely, courtesy of an error by John McDonald. He has now made more errors in seven spring games than in 70 regular-season ones for the D-backs last year. Please get 'em all out of your system now, Johnnie.
Things remained tied from there through the end of the seventh. The Diamondbacks got three scoreless innings from Chase Anderson, who scattered four hits, but walked none, striking out two. That was followed by another zero, from Eury de la Rosa, his fifth of spring, which is likely turning some heads: he allowed no hits, but did walk a batter and struck one out. Arizona took the lead in the top of the eighth, with a bit of two-out aggression on the basepaths paid off. With Rossmel Perez and Josh Wilson on second and first, a double steal provoked a throwing error by the Brewers' catcher, letting Perez come home.
However, Bo Schultz couldn't even get an out in the bottom half, before the lead became a deficit. He walked the leadoff guy, and the next one cranked the ball down the line in left-field for Milwaukee second two-run homer of the day. Arizona went down in order in the ninth, and that was it. We had six hits and four walks in total, scattered over ten different players. Didi Gregorius's debut proved almost entirely uneventful: he went 1-for-4, singling in the fourth inning [and as an aside, you can tell this is a National League team, when their DH is hitting in the 9thj spot! Oddly, the last time that happened was with the Yankees late last year, when their DH was... Eric Chavez]
Thanks to blank_38 for sterling PBP in the GDT:: also present were AzDbackfanInDc, Bcawz, BigLeagueAZ, Clefo, GuruB, Jim McLennan, RobbieFVK, Turambar and imstillhungry95. It's Tempe Diable and the Angels for the D-backs, though the weather forecast might not be so good. Elsewhere, there was a huge shock at Salt River Fields, at the Italian team bested the Mexicans, 6-5, scoring two in the ninth to pull off one of the biggest shocks in WBC history. We'll talk more about that in tomorrow morning's round-up, along with discussing the Venezuelan-Dominican game, which is currently in progress down in Puerto Rico.