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Diamondbacks 8, Mariners 5: P.J. Pilittere for MVP! (Or Not)

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There are people here I've never heard of.
P. Pillttere?
   -- J. McLennan, 3:04 pm

P.J. Pilittere
Best player ever. Always said so.
   -- J. McLennan, 4:10 pm

Yeah, drawing a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning, driving in the go-ahead run and helping end a nine-game losing streak, will do that for my opinion of a player. Had there been a more impressive 0-for-0 in baseball history? At least, not from somebody I'd never heard of. Unfortunately, the walk in question turned out to be an illusion, crafted out of thin air by MLB Gameday - looks like Ken Levine must have been working it today. The crucial free pass turns out to have been worked by the much less anonymous Miguel Montero, and Pilittere can return to the welcome obscurity of prospectness.

Still, we won, eh? 6-18, back to keeping pace with the 2010 Pirates for the worst recent preseason record.

Daniel Hudson got the start, and the numbers weren't the best he's had this spring, as he was touched for three runs on three hits and a walk in four innings. He was burned by the long-ball, as only one of those hits stayed inside Peoria Stadium. One of those came after Hudson rolled snake eyes and delivered an "uncharacteristically bad" change-up, which Milton Bradley sent directly to jail over the fence in right-field, without passing Go or collecting anything, except a pair of RBI. I would go on, except that Monopoly is actually made by Parker Brothers - about whom we'll hear more later. Anyway, we'll move on, before you all get "board."

Esmerling Vasquez had a better outing than we've seen recently from him, allowing only an unearned run - courtesy of a Kelly Johnson error - on a hit and a walk, over two innings. Juan Gutierrez continued his rebound in form, a perfect seventh inning being his fourth zero in a row, while Micah Owings was a perfect illustration of the meaningless of W-L records for relievers. He allowed the go-ahead run in the eighth, on an RBI groundout, putting him in line to take the loss. But he benefit from the offensive explosion [or whatever] in the ninth, and got credited with the W. Kam Mickolio pitched a scoreless ninth for the save, despite loading the bases with one out.

Tony Abreu continued his spell of good production, getting two doubles to improve his spring average to .341 - quite a turn around from the .182 he was hitting after March 6th. Willie Bloomquist and David Winfree also each had a couple of hits. K:BB ratios were similar for the two sides. The Diamondbacks had three walks and eight strikeouts, while the Mariners had three walks and seven strikeouts. Xavier Nady had the only stolen-base attempt by either team, this afternoon and was successful. He also got a hit, bringing his Cactus League average back up to the Uecker line.

Concerning news, in the absence of J.J. Putz, who was scheduled to throw this afternoon, but felt back stiffness while warming up, and was "shut down" as a result. HHe said, "I just threw a couple of pitches in the bullpen and my back was stiff. It's just tight. It didn't feel right."  He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow, and it's not an area where he has had problems before, so at the moment he still expects to be ready for Opening Day. "There's plenty of time left. "We've got two weeks left, I think -- there's plenty of time." Stephen Drew was also kept out of the line-up for another day, but should be back over the weekend.

I think Xavier Nady gave us the first use of "grind" this season, discussing his struggles, and how it's crunch time. "It's a constant grind, and you've got to keep working on it. That's why we're here. Obviously, it's an important two weeks, but I'll keep working hard and find something going into the season. I know it hasn't come easy, but there's a lot of time left, and I'm going to keep grinding away to get better." Said Kirk Gibson, "I'm going to try to get him some consecutive at-bats probably in the next week or so... He's been down working with [hitting coach Don Baylor] a lot about some things that he's been doing that you can't do. Just a little technical issue he needs to clean up."

There was going to be a Comment of the Thread, but it was revoked for factual inaccuracy. After all, what kind of idiot would go on a long rambling joke about Milton Bradley, which was actually based on a game produced by another company, like Parker Brothers? Sheesh. JoeStock's play--by-play helped him claim top spot in a fairly-light GDT: I was second, with Clefo third, Also taking part: soco, luckycc, kishi, Rockkstarr12, Baja F1, unnamedDBacksfan, snakecharmer, justin1985, blue bulldog, emilylovesthedbacks, txzona, Amit and IHateSouthBend. We have one televised game left, on FSAZ next Monday when we face a Dodgers split-squad - then it's Opening Day!

Now, let's just win out the rest of the way, and be done with it, okay?