Thanks a bunch to William K and Otacon for their running commentary on yesterday's game, which was especially welcome for those of us who were at work and thus unable to catch it on TV. To celebrate another magnificent victory for the D'backs, had my first significant post-work drinking session since I quit HSBC back in the year 2000, which was fun in a strangely novel way. Went to TGI Friday's up on Scottsdale and Frank Lloyd Wright: the service was a little slow, but hey, I was only drinking. It was probably for the best, from the point of view of having to work again today...
A better performance by the hitters than the pitchers; Vazquez allowed ten hits and four runs over six innings. Aquino then struck out the Rangers in the seventh...albeit wrapped around four hits and two runs, including a homer. He still got the win though, and Koplove and Lyon tidied up effectively thereafter. Sixteen hits for our batters, Clayton, Glaus, Green, Tracy and Kata all getting two each, including a homer for Chad. It was a record crowd for Surprise, of 11,651. Perhaps this will encourage more Cactus League evening games - not that it makes much difference to someone like me, who currently works 3-1:30 am so can't go to either afternoon or evening starts. :-(
Shawn Green's two hits and an RBI were lauded by the East Valley Tribune as "one of his best games of the spring", which says quite a lot about his performance so far. The devils on my shoulder are whispering that this is exactly why the Dodgers were so keen to dump him. Still, keep telling yourself: "it's only spring training...it's only spring training."
To comfort myself, I took a look at the 2004 spring stats:
Matt Kata .450 (27-for-60), 5 HR, 16 RBI
Luis Gonzalez .441 (30-for-68), 3 HR, 19 RBI
Steve Finley .222 (16-for-72), 0 HR, 6 RBI
Steve Sparks 2.84 ERA, 19 IP, 16 H, 6 ER
Randy Johnson 4.88 ERA, 24 IP, 22 H, 15 ER
Greg Aquino 7.81 ERA, 12.2 IP, 16 H, 11 ER
There you go. I feel a lot better - though this is, I freely admit, glossing over cases where the spring training performances proved to be eerily prophetic (ERAs for Elmer Dessens + Matt Mantei, 5.67 + 14.71 respectively). But this is certainly not the time to panic, no, sir - I'm pencilling that in around mid-May, when we're already ten games out and Troy Glaus is on the DL for the season. ;-)
We are getting close to perhaps deciding one issue: Kelly Stinnett has a contract clause which says we need to tell him by Monday if he's on the roster or not. I'm still inclined to think he will be, with Hill getting the majority of the starts, and Snyder going down to Tucson. There's a chance we might go with Hill and Snyder, but I think the latter would be better served as a full-time catcher in AAA, for one more season anyway. However, as already noted, what would that mean for Brito, Ansman and (to a lesser extent, since he can play elsewhere) Myers? Not an easy decision for Melvin.