Trevor Bauer is fallible. This shocking revelation shattered the dearly-held faith of millions of Diamondbacks supporters worldwide, who firmly believed Bauer would go through his entire major-league career with an impeccable record. ERA: 0.00. WHIP: 0.00. 33 perfect games per year for the next 20 seasons, ending up with more wins than Cy Young, and that's not counting his spring training perfection. Those hopes were cruelly shattered this afternoon, by Brendan "The Legend Killer" Ryan, who tripled with one out in the opening frame at Peoria. Ryan was replaced after five innings and spent the rest of the game strangling puppies in the dugout.
Yeah, it wasn't quite as dominating as his debut, and much like his namesake, our Bauer took his share of lumps as he battled opposing forces dedicated to his downfall. But he came out the other side and got the W, as the Diamondbacks won their first spring training contest since Opening Day last Friday. The "valued sidekick" part of Chloe O'Brian was played by Ryan Roberts - yeah, I think we need to have a word with our casting director about that one - who went yard again, hitting a three-run homer to break a 2-2 tie in the fourth innings, and putting Arizona ahead for good.
Bauer ended up throwing three innings - he clearly laughs at that whole "two innings start" mentality. He scattered four hits and allowing two runs, on a ground-out after the triple and an RBI single in the second inning. He got out of that frame with aid of a Miguel Montero caight stealing, and finished off with a clean third, despite getting pinged on the ankle by a comebacker off the bat of the despicable Ryan. Judging by Gameday, Bauer's fastball sat at 94-96; he also had a two-seamer in the high-80s, a change-up mostly in the mid-80's, a slider in the low 80's and a curve in the high-70s. He threw first-pitch strikes to nine of 12 batters faced.
"I was missing more down in the zone today than I like to. I like to pitch in the upper half of the zone, and today I was getting the ball at the knees and they were hitting it. You throw the ball down in the zone, it loses effective velocity and they can square it up where when it's up in the zone it gets on them quicker."
-- Trevor Bauer
Other stuff happened too, such as J.J. Putz making his first appearance of spring. Well, his first public one, at least, as our closer has, as last year, been working out on the back fields at Salt River Fields. Manager Kirk Gibson defended Putz last weekend: "It’s not being cautious at all. It’s actually very aggressive. J.J. is a light-hearted guy and he is comedic in his own way, but he really puts a lot of thought in different ways to approach different hitters in his situation as closer. That’s the way he wanted to do it, and we agreed." .Today, the results were a bit mixed, with Putz giving up a home-run and another hit when he came in after Bauer, but he was mostly throwing his new cutter.
"You're always trying to get better. It's just a good pitch to have. ... I felt really positive about the way it came out today... I went out there and accomplished pretty much everything I wanted to. I threw some good pitches, left one pitch kind of middle of the plate to a guy that's got a lot of power. It's a work in progress."
-- J.J. Putz
He was followed by Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin who each pitched two innings. Miley struggled in comparison to his previous outing, allowing four hits and two runs, but Corbin posted a pair of zeroes, despite allowing two hits; he struck out a pair of Seattle hitters. Joe Paterson was the last to take the mound for the Diamondbacks, and threw a perfect ninth to close out the win, Arizona holding the opposition to less than half-a-dozen runs for the first time since last Saturday. They walked none and struck out a total of five.
On offense, it was the long-ball which proved productive, being responsible for six of the team's eight runs. As well as Roberts' three-run blast, there were also solo shots by Aaron Hill in the first, Chris Young in the sixth and Rusty Ryal in the seventh. It was Roberts' third hit of spring...and his third home-run, meaning that he is now batting .200 and slugging .800. Justin Upton and Lyle Overbay each reached base safely, with a hit and a walk, Upton driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.
It'll be the Mariners again tomorrow, this time back at Salt River Fields in an evening game which should see Ian Kennedy get the start for the Diamondbacks.