This afternoon saw totals of 33 hits, 6 walks and three errors, as the Diamondbacks lost to the Royals by the odd run in 21. Arizona blew leads of 4-2 and 9-7, but tied the score at ten in the top of the eighth on an Alfred Marte homer. However, Eddie Bonine, who had held Kansas City scoreless in the eighth, couldn't repeat that feat in the ninth. A two-out single by George Kottaras brought home the winning run, the home team's sixteenth hit of the day. Our pitchers also allowed more walks than strikeouts, by a 5-4 margin, in a lackluster series of performances which probably answered one question, but may have asked another.
Randall Delgado still had a chance to become our fifth starter, on the back of two solid outings, but it looks unlikely that will be the case, based on this afternoon's performance. Things started badly as he allowed a home-run to the very first batter faced, and another ball left the park one out later. He allowed at least one hit each inning, and things could have been worse if Frenchie hadn't been picked off and caught stealing in the second inning, with two men on and nobody out. The fifth was where Delgado really fell apart, retiring one of the first six batters he faced, on three walks and two hits, including a two-run homer.
A sacrifice fly and RBI single followed, and that ended Delgado's day. He went five innings, allowing six runs, all earned, on nine hits and four walks, with three home-runs and a wild pitch in there. His spring ERA ballooned up to 6.88, which is over three runs higher than Corbin's. If this had been an opening start, there could have been time for Delgado to recover from it, but given there would only be one more appearance before Opening Day, it would seem likely this is all over, bar the shouting.
More interesting now, might be the question of left-handed relievers, because Tony Sipp and, in particular, Matt Reynolds followed Delgado to the mound, and neither did much to lock up their positions in the bullpen. Combined, they worked two innings, and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk, with Reynolds the victim of most damage. We'll get into this more on Monday (since it's an off day), but when you put Reynolds' numbers beside those of Joe Paterson, who has enjoyed an excellent spring... Wondering if Reynolds has options left: looks like he has been in the majors full-time since his call-up in August 2010 + 2012, so it's certainly possible.
If the pitching left a lot to be desired, the hitters did a lot better than the previous games versus Kansas City, where they'd scored a total of five runs. That was matched in the seventh inning alone this afternoon. Aaron Hill had an RBI single, Paul Goldschmidt a two-run double, and Miguel Montero followed with a two-run homer. Those were just three of our 17 hits. Hill, Eric Chavez and Didi Gregorius each picked up a pair, with Hill also getting our only walk. But the best performance of the day came from Goldschmidt, who went 3-for-3 with four runs driven in, and two scored. His spring line improved to .412/.475/.549. Just keep that up through April, please.
Our streak of alternating wins and losses extends to six as a result, which should mean we enjoy a nice victory tomorrow afternoon at Salt River Fields [though at time of writing, looks like it's just us!].