Daniel Hudson finished off his pre-season preparations in good shape this afternoon. After being lifted before he could get through three inning his last time out - albeit in part due to his defense - Hudson bounced back with 5.2 shutout innings against the Texas Rangers in the last game this spring for the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. He allowed four hits and two walks, striking out four. His final Cactus League ERA of 3.18 is the best by any Arizona starter - among pitchers with ten-plus innings, it trails only David Hernandez (1.64) and Esmerling Vasquez (2.51).
However, Sam Demel and Juan Gutierrez coughed up our leads in the seventh and ninth, and Texas held on to run our pre-season record to 11-25.
The only time Hudson was really in much trouble was the fourth inning, when he loaded the bases with Rangers on two hits and a walk. However, he got their center-fielder to fly out to his Arizona counterpart. Hudson would likely have been able to go deeper, but Joe Paterson was brought in to face the left-hander, in an apparent audition for his role as our bullpen's left-handed specialist, which seems all but inked. Sam Demel pitched the seventh, but the three hits he gave up led to Texas knotting things at two.
The last couple of innings were...interesting. David Hernandez allowed a hit, a walk and still managed to leave the bases empty and face the minimum three batters. How did he manage that? Simple: the walk was erased by a double-play, and the hitter was caught stealing second. Mind you, that was a picture of elegance compared to the ninth, when Juan Gutierrez did his best to deny recent kind words, with an awful outing. He retired just one of the seven batters he faced, giving up five hits and a bases-loaded HBP which tied the game - one of four runs charged to Gutierrez this afternoon. Esmerling Vasquez came in to get the final two outs.
Not a great deal doing on offense for the Diamondbacks, with eight hits and four walks. Xavier Nady was the only Arizona batter to reach safely more than once, with a couple of hits. He has got his average up to .239, which might be just enough to have saved him from being DFA'd, considering it was down at .196 after the game on the 20th. He's gone 7-for-21 since, although he has still not walked at all this pre-season. We'll talk more about him tomorrow, when we take a look to see if the Diamondbacks' roster can be finalized.
We'll be back later with the next installment of our prediction series, taking a look at batting average, so stay tuned for that.