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Diamondbacks 8, Angels 9: Sweeney Dud, Not-so Demon Pitcher

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It looked like the Diamondbacks had pulled off an epic comeback this afternoon, roaring back from 7-3 down after six, to take the lead on Wily Mo Pena's two-run homer in the eighth. Unfortunately, Brian Sweeney felt otherwise. He allowed five of the six batters he faced in the ninth to reach, allowing Anaheim to score both the tying and then the winning run. This was not a good day for most of Arizona's pitchers, as we gave up a total of eighteen hits on the afternoon - Wade Miley is no longer part of the Cactus League rotation, after he became the latest D-back starter with a poor outing.

The fourth defeat in a row for us, and we're now sitting at 5-12. Ouch

  • March 11, Wade Miley: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • March 10, Armando Galarraga: 3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • March 9, Ian Kennedy: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Well, I suppose that the Diamondbacks are at least getting consistent starting pitching, with the past three days all resulting in five earned runs in three innings of work. But I think you are probably with me when I say than a steady ERA of 15.00 is not quite what we want to see. In three games, we've conceded 25 runs, fifteen in nine innings from our starters, on twenty-three hits. While Miley isn't expected to be a contributor this season, and was probably overmatched - he has thirteen career games aboce A-ball, and was facing the likes of Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells - any optimism left over from the 16-5 clubbing on Tuesday, has evaporated.

Zach Kroenke redoubled his efforts to cross himself off the list of LHPs, allowing three hits and two runs in the fourth. He has six hits and a walk in 4.2 innings of work, so hard to say whether he or Mike Hampton (seven hits and three BB in five) are ahead, if we want a second lefty in the bullpen. At the moment, Joe Paterson seems to have the lead there, and the Sedona propaganda machine appears to be promoting him, with articles by both Steve G and Nick P mentioning him the past couple of days.

Both mention his "funky" sidearm delivery - a word apparently used independently by Towers, pitching coach Charles Nagy and Gibson in the pieces to describe him! According to Nagy, "I think he's just so funky that he's funky against everybody. Joe has done everything we've asked of him. He's come in and gotten righties and lefties out. He's been able to repeat and he's got good stuff." Funky? I will be referring to him as "The Gibbon" from now on, for reasons that I suspect few will understand (hotclaws?). Paterson reckons his style may be the result of shoulder surgery in high school: "I am guessing it was just easier for me to come back throwing sidearm, and that's what I did."

The middle innings weren't actually too bad, with Juan Gutierrez, Sam Demel, Rafael Rodriguez and a new face, Patrick Corbin, each throwing a scoreless inning, albeit of varying impeccability. Corbin, acquired as part of the Dan Haren trade, was the only one not to allow a hit in his inning of work. I think he was probably only called into action because Joe Saunders was scratched from his start, though Gibson was unclear on the symptoms. After allowing 13 hits in 5.2 innings, something something neck something whiplash. Gutierrez allowed a hit but K'd two, and a mechanical adjustment, keeping him stay more closed, seems to have helped.

We shall gloss over the ninth inning, and Brian Sweeney's awful performance, moving rapidly on to the offense. Arizona scored three in the third, on a Henry Blanco single, Chris Young sacrifice fly, and Angels error. But that was it until a Gerardo Parra RBI single in the seventh. Brandon Allen and Ryan Roberts each drove in a run in the four-run eighth, before Pena's two-run shot gave us a fleeting lead. The top of the order did very little, slots 1-4 combining to go 0-for-15 with a walk. But Allen had three hits, with Pena and Parra each chipping in for a couple. Not a good K:BB rate though, at 11:1, while Allen was caught stealing second.

Couple of bits of other news from today. We're down to 54 in camp, Steve Gilbert reporting as follows: "The club assigned infielder Andy Tracy, outfielder David Winfree and pitcher Clay Zavada to Triple-A Reno; pitcher Matt Gorgen and outfielder Marc Krauss to Double-A Mobile; catcher Rossmel Perez to Class A Visalia; and pitcher Juan Jaime to Class A South Bend."I thought Gorgen was having TJ surgery? The team also announced today they have agreed to terms on one-year contracts for 2011 with 26 pre-arbitration players and renewed the contracts of Ian Kennedy and Juan Miranda. All players on the 40-man roster are now under contract for the season.