Is it just me, or is the thrill of beating the "2006 World Champion Chicago White Sox" beginning to wear off a little? I mean, four games played, four wins, and by a margin of 41-15? C'mon, can anyone out there provide a bit of challenge for us? :-) Hey, once the real games start, it threatens to be a fairly long season, so let us enjoy these moments of gloating - we're the only undefeated team left in the Cactus League - while we can.
Sunday saw us stay perfect, though this one was at least relatively close, as Slaten and Daigle allowed four runs over the last two innings, before Casey finally barred the door. This came after seven innings of three-hit ball, led by Dustin Nippert and Brian Bruney, who both allowed one hit while striking out two, in a pair of innings each. Randy Choate got the win, while Garrett Mock pitched a perfect seventh.
On the hitting side, Hudson and left-fielder Gonzalez both went 2-for-3 - though there is some debate over whether this was or wasn't Luis. The ESPN box-score lists the player concerned as E. Gonzalez, but unless Edgar the pitcher has developed some previously unknown mad skillz, I suspect this was probably Gonzo. I seem to recall similar confusion issues last year. And from the "Where are they now?" category, Hammock, swatted a two-run homer after replacing Jackson at first-base.
Indeed, that was from the "Where are they now?" category on the pitching side, too, since it was off Stephen Randolph = well, I assume, unless there's another hurler called S. Randolph who possesses woeful control. Nice to see him back on the mound, albeit in a Chicago uniform. He walked two and allowed three runs in an inning of work, including the home run, so not much has changed there either.
I suppose, I should also mention Saturday night's game against the Mexican national team, even though it doesn't count in Cactus League play...and, probably more importantly, we lost. [Yeah, if we'd won, you can bet it'd get more of a mention!] We went down 6-1, but it was fairly close until a grand-slam in the eighth off Bass, allowed the "visitors" - though by most accounts, they represented much of the crowd, and almost all the enthusiasm! - to pull away.
Vargas looked sharp over two innings, and was followed by Jarvis, who allowed two hits and two walks in two more innings. At the plate, Cota was the only player to have real success, going 2-for-2, while our sole score came on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Quentin. Plenty of former D'backs on the Mexican team: Karim Garcia and Durazo started, while Dessens and Villarreal pitched, as well as current D'back Edgar Gonzalez.
Slightly concerned that Drew was pulled from the line-up; he bruised his shoulder sliding into third base earlier in the week, but it's not believed to be of any real concern, and he should be playing again by Wednesday. Elsewhere on the injury front, Counsell's ETA return is March 15th, while Brandon Medders is still shut-down: he may not be ready for Opening Day, if he doesn't start throwing in about the next ten days.
Today's game - just getting underway at the time of writing - sees us face the Chic...no, hang on. Force of habit. :-) We're actually up against the Texas Rangers. Ortiz starts for us, and is expected to be followed by Grimsley, Valverde, Koplove, Heredia and Aquino.