Record: 14-4-1. Change on 2015: +3.
Yeah. You can't really ask for much better than Zack Greinke pitched for the Diamondbacks in front of a sell-out crowd at Salt River Fields this afternoon. He cruised his way into the sixth inning, finally being lifted with two outs there, having allowed a double sandwiched by his sixth and seventh strikeouts. He faced the minimum through the first three, with the only batter reaching base on an error by Phil Gosselin - and Greinke picked the runner off second. The sole threat was in the fourth, where two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Texas with no outs, but a sacrifice TOOTBLAN by Texas helped the D-backs keep it scoreless.
Greinke's final line on the day: 5.2 scoreless innings of four-hit ball, with one walk and seven K's. He only needed 77 pitches - I'm presuming he was on a 75 count - with 47 strikes. The rest of the afternoon was largely uneventful. Wesley Wright got the final out of the sixth, after a walk, and Evan Marshall tossed his seventh scoreless inning of spring. Sam LeCure did lose the shutout in the eighth, giving up a run on two hits, but Jake Barrett finished things off with three strikeouts in the ninth, albeit around a couple of hits. But this was Greinke's day, reducing his spring ERA to 1.88. I think the next couple of outings are just marking time, because he seems ready for Opening Day.
Meanwhile, the hitters did their part, piling up 12 hits and five walks on their way to the biggest margin of victory so far this spring. Gosselin and Welington Castillo each had two hits, though Beef did blot his copybook by hitting a single - every one of his other 11 hits this year have been for extra bases. Today, that included his third home-run of spring, as part of a five-run third inning for the Diamondbacks. Not to be outdone, Brandon Drury went back-to-back with Castillo, also homering for the third time. Kevin Cron got his first homer in the seventh, a two-run shot. Segura had a two-run triple, and the D-backs hitters drew five walks without a single K, which is a great sign.
There were stolen bases for Goldschmidt and Peralta, with each man reaching base safely twice, on a hit and a walk. However, Goldy did hit into a double-play and Gosselin made a pair of errors. But, all told, this was a very satisfactory outing, especially considering it was a split-squad game, with half the team on their way to Peoria for tonight's contest against the Mariners. That gets under way a little after 7pm, so we'll run a separate Gameday Thread for that one, I think. Another very solid crowd, of 13,360 at Salt River Field, and it does seem early concerns about attendance may not have been justified, at least as far as the Diamondbacks are concerned.