Another day, another disturbing performance from a prospective starter. Or, at least, another evening, as this was the first night game for the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields, in front of another great five-figure crowd - padding our already substantial attendance lead over the Cubs by a further three thousand. However, Armando Galarraga didn't appreciate the significance of the occasion, allowing the White Sox to gallop ahead early, and though the other pitchers held things from there, the offense weren't able to come back.
Tonight's loss sent Arizona's record to 5-11, and it was a crisply-played game, taking only 2:11. In line with that, I'll provide some quick details after the jump - keeping it terse, as we've got to go watch short films entered into our festival!
Galarragga allowed five runs in three innings at SRF@TS this evening, pushing his spring ERA alongside Zach Duke's at 7.88. Of our expecting Opening Day rotation, only Daniel Hudson has a lower ERA than that - even if it's only spring training, it's still not quite where we want them to be. If we were going strictly on Cactus League numbers, Barry Enright (2.00) would be our Opening Day starter, and our rotation would also include Hudson (2.57), Aaron Heilman (3.38), Wade Miley (6.75) and... Sheesh, I dunno: Josh Collmenter? It would, at least, be a very cheap rotation...
It was almost as if Galarraga hadn't bothered to warm up before taking the mound tonight, as six of the first seven White Sox batters reached base against him. There were two walks and four hits, three of them going for extra bases, including Gordon Beckham's two-run homer to give Chicago the lead, before Galarraga had even retired a batter. The second was slightly better - just one hit, a double - but the third saw the White Sox score two more. Anders final line was five earned runs on seven hits and two walks; and it wasn't as if those hits were ground-balls through the infield, as only one of them went for a single.
After that, however, things got a lot better, as Jordan Norberto, Barry Enright and Carlos Rosa combined to pitch six innings of shutout ball. They allowed only two hits - both singles - and a walk, while striking out four White Sox batters. Enright was particularly impressive, throwing four innings and facing one batter over the minimum. As noted above, he has the best ERA of any of the startting candidates. After nine innings this spring, he was allowed two runs - both coming as a result of solo homers - on five hits and a walk, striking out five. With Opening Day three weeks tomorrow, there are some interesting decisions shaping up to be made.
Not much offense to speak of, as the Diamondbacks hitters managed five hits and a walk. All three runs were the result of the long-ball. Russell Branyan got Arizona on the board with one out in the second, his second homer of spring, and Gerardo Parra delivered his first shot - in fact, his first extra-base hit - in the seventh. That scored Ryan Roberts, who had reached immediately before, on a Chicago error. However, there weren't many chances for us, as we were held to just a single at-bat with runners in scoring position. No errors for the D-backs, but Cole Gillespie was caught stealing third base.