As if any further evidence was really needed of the uselessness of "Wins" as a measure of proficiency, this afternoon's W went to Leo Rosales - even though he was actually the only one of the seven pitchers used by the Diamondbacks, to concede a run. However, that run made the game tied at one in the middle of the fourth, so when Chris Snyder's one-out home-run in the bottom half gave Arizona the lead, and the rest of the pen allowed four hits and no walks in the remainder, Rosales was the winner.
A generally nice outing by our hurlers this afternoon, restricting the Angels to six hits in total, without any free passes and nine strikeouts. Details after the jump.
After being lit up for 31 runs over the opening three contests, the Diamondbacks' staff have seriously reined in the opposition, with only a dozen allowed in total for this week's four games to date. The single tally allowed to Anaheim today - a solo home-run by Mike Napoli off Rosales, just to the left of center - was the lowest of the seven full contests completed so far, and means Arizona's record is now 3-5, with one tie. They've also not been beaten for three games in a row, so are on a little bit of a roll.
Edwin Jackson was the starter for us, and delivered a solid performance, with three shutout innings. He retired nine of the ten batters faced, with only a double by Napoli in the second separating him from perfection. He buzzed through the Angels in such short order, on only 24 pitches, that he ended up having to throw additional work in the bullpen after the game, to reach the necessary pitch-count for the day. Jackson said he’s feeling good, but “If I’d try to go five, six or seven (innings) right now I’d probably be dead.”
Rosales pitched the fourth, allowing his first hit and run of the season, but after that, there were some more good outings. Aaron Heilman struck out two in a perfect fifth, Bryan Augenstein repeated the K's in the sixth, albeit with a couple of hits allowed. Jordan Norberto and TJ Beam each extended their scoreless streaks in the seventh and eighth, and Esmerling Vasquez got back on track, striking out the Angels in the ninth, around a single. The bullpen was heavy on the groundball outs, those outnumbering fly-ball outs by an overall margin of 8-2.
On offense, Tony Abreu continued to hit well, with a double and single - he's now hitting .500 on the Cactus League season. Kelly Johnson had a hit and a walk, and Chris Snyder delivered his first long-ball of 2010. So far, he and Miguel Montero have been alternating stints behind the plate, with the other one typically used as a DH. Justin Upton drove in a run in the fifth with a bases-loaded walk, and there were successful steals of second for both Gerardo Parra and Abreu, though AJ Pollock was caught later in the game.
D'you know what the best thing is about being a regular major-leaguer? According to Ryan Roberts, it's having your own pants. "You have no idea what that was like to see. I mean, last year, they just gave me anybody's old pants. They could have belonged to Leo Rosales or some other guy. They never really fit. I'd just get somebody's pants and they'd write my uniform number on the inside with a black Sharpie." Now, not so much. I hadn't realized his wife was an actress (though her IMDb resume lists only one episode of Prison Break), and seems money was kinda tight till he broke through last year. "Neither one of us ever had any money, so before the baby came, we went out and bought the things we never really had before, like a bunch of new clothes and shoes and things like that."
Not so good news on the Brandon Webb front, where it is beginning to look ever more likely that he will start the season where he finished 2009: on the disabled list. Manager AJ Hinch did hold out some hope however: "I'd like to see what he looks like next on the mound - because, you never know, once he gets back on the mound if we can speed things up as much as we've slowed it down the last week. I do know that he felt the best he's felt all camp yesterday which is a good sign." Webb is scheduled for some long-toss tomorrow and will then be re-evaluated, but even Hinch admits, "It's getting fairly obvious that it's going to be difficult to get him ready for the season."
On the financial front, the tea signed deals with 20 pre-arbitration players, and renewed the contracts of two, Mark Reynolds and Ian Kennedy. That's a polite way of saying, "decided their 2010 salaries" Reynolds will make $500K this season, with negotiations on a longer-term contract still ongoing.