Another day, another double-digit tally of runs for the opposition. Really, we got off easy at JennFest on Monday, that being the only game since Saturday where our pitchers haven't coughed up a ten-spot or worse. Today saw the much-anticipated debut of Tyler Skaggs in a Diamondbacks' uniform, but major control issues proved his downfall, as he walked four of the seven batters faced. Worse yet, one of the other three hit a grand-slam, leaving Skaggs with a crisp spring ERA approaching his jersey number, at 54.00. But the players wore microphones! So who cares about the final result?!? Well, someone does...
"It was a crap game, again, three in a row...Regardless of what process we're in right now, we're still out here to play well and win ball games and it's still frustrating and it doesn't feel good to lose, I don't care where it is."
-- Kirk Gibson
Last night, Steve Gilbert wrote: "The D-backs have not looked good so far this spring. So far Kirk Gibson has taken what’s happened in stride, but if they continue to miss cutoff men and play sloppy baseball you can bet he’s going to have something to say about it." As the quote above suggests, seems unlikely today's contest deferred that volcanic event. While they didn't make any errors, almost all of the Indians offense came off pitchers who are expected to contribute. As well as Skaggs' four-pack, Trevor Cahill allowed three runs in his first inning on two home-runs (though did settle down in the third) and Brad Ziegler was tagged for three hits and two runs in the fifth.
If there were any positives, it was the work of the B-pitchers, as well as Craig Breslow, who worked 1.1 scoreless innings. Brett Lorin, Jpe Martinez, Kevin Munson and Jonathan Albaladejo allowed one run on two hits and a walk over the final four innings, with seven strikeouts - three by Munson in his inning, though he also allowed the run. Admittedly, this was against the B-lineup of the Indians, but you have to take your positives where you can find them on a day like today.
There certainly weren't many on offense, with the Diamondbacks held to four hits. Paul Goldschmidt and Henry Blanco each had RBI doubles in the second, and Rusty Ryal also had a two-bagger. Cahill came out with Generic Spring Training Quote #26 after the game: "I was a little wild in the first then kind of settled down. I never have done very well in my first couple of spring training outings. It is just a matter of getting comfortable. My arm feels good so that is the biggest positive for the day." Skaggs added, "Mechanics got out of whack. I let the game get to me instead of just stepping off and kind of taking my time and letting the game come to me, but it's something to learn off."
The game was broadcast live on MLB Network, with the big excitement being players being miked up for the event. The overall results, however, seem to have been less than overwhelming. judging by the comments in the Gameday Thread.:SongBird called it, "Kinda boring," and Bryan J. Boitik observed, "I love how MLB network is cutting to the players with mics on as if they are expecting them to say something. And then silence." However, asteroid kinda liked it, "though they seemed a little self conscious about what they’d say." and txzona "thought it was cool,"
though might have been being sarcastic. Guess the jury's still out.
Interest overall seemed to decline sharply after Skaggs' shortened appearance. Even with the game being broadcast on TV, we barely got past 200 comments, though that might partly have been due to the absence of GDT stalwart imstillhungry95. Instead, SongBird came out top, just pipping NASCARbernet, with Bryan J. Boitik in third. Also present: dbacks25, Bcawz, frienetic, Shawnwck, dbacks4life, CaptainCanuck, dbacksfann, DeDxDbacKxJroK, Baja F1, blank_38, leemellon, asteroid, LiamNeeson, Jdub220, Clefo, Turambar, Marc Fournier, txzona, and diamondfacts.
But if you want more, AZ Central had the "highlights". I'm using quotes advisedly, since there was hardly anything that will go down in the annals of baseball wit and wisdom. Dbacks third-base coach Matt Williams as Paul Goldschidmt scored on a Ryan Roberts grounder: "That a boy, Goldy. Good read." Or umpire Gerry Davis on his New Years trip to Paris: "Everybody talks about how rude they're going to be over there. I didn't find that at all." And, I remind you, those were considered to be the highlights of the audio feed.