Record: 9-9-3. Change on 2013: +1.5.
The day started off pretty well for the Diamondbacks bullpen, with Josh Collmenter continuing his fine spring, extending his scoreless streak by retiring all four batters he faced. We should have quit while we were ahead, because the remainder of the afternoon did not go so well. In the four innings which followed, Arizona relievers allowed eight hits, three walks and seven runs, six of them earned. And that even included a 1-2-3 eighth from Addison Reed, which gives you some idea of how awful the other three were. Step forward J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler and Bo Schultz, as the guilty parties responsible.
Putz and Ziegler have both struggled badly in their Cactus League appearances - I'll be talking more about that later tonight, actually - and this afternoon was no exception. Putz gave up a double to Aramis Ramirez, the first batter faced, and one out later, an RBI triple, with the runner coming home as relay man Didi Gregorius threw the ball past third into the dugout. A walk to Lyle Overbay - and, more embarrassingly, a stolen-base [Lyle has been playing since 2001 and has a total of 17 SB] - also followed. Ziegler's day was worse still, with three hits, a walk and three earned runs; he might still have been pitching, save for a Milwaukee TOOTBLAN, which gifted him the third out.
Those two innings turned a four-run lead into a deficit. Things had been going pretty well too. We'd scored two in the first, both coming home on a single from Gerardo Parra and, while Randall Delgado had coughed that back up in the bottom half (on a two-run homer, naturally), he then settled down, with no further damage for the Brewers until Putz showed up. In the meantime, Parra added his third RBI with a sacrifice fly, A.J. Pollock drove in a run with a single, and Tony Campana had a two-run single, though he too was out trying to make it to second.
Even after the Brewers had taken the lead, the Diamondbacks fought back. Tuffy Gosewisch and Rudy Flores got their first home-runs of spring, each a solo shot in a two-run eighth as we regained the advantage, 8-7. However, Schultz couldn't close it down, back-to-back doubles with one out forcing extra innings. We stranded a man at first, but Schultz was unable to secure the tie either. A lead-off double was bunted to third, and came home on a groundout to Gregorius, the throw from his knees going to Tuffy's right, and just allowing the runner to get in ahead of the tag.
No shortage of offense, with Arizona getting 14 hits in a losing cause. Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored; Martin Prado and Pollock each had a pair of hits, and Parra reached base twice, on a hit and a walk, as well as those three RBI. Tomorrow, it's the final road game before we head to Australia, the D-backs going to Goodyear where they'll face the Cleveland Indians, beginning at 1:05pm. Patrick Corbin gets the start for Arizona there.