Record 21-7-3. Change on 2015: +6.5
Here's what matters this afternoon. Zack Greinke got in a light workout this afternoon, in his final tune-up before taking on the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day next Monday. Pitching at Salt River Fields in an intrasquad game, he tossed 3.1 innings, allowing six hits but no walks, with four strikeouts (including the one of A.J. Pollock below) and one run allowed. He threw around 60 pitches or so, and two of the hits allowed belonged to Pollock (who had either two or three hits depending on your source!). Greinke didn't mince words when asked about his good numbers this spring and the team's Cactus League success, saying, "I think spring training stats are worthless"
Zack Greinke strikes out A.J. Pollock in an intrasquad game. pic.twitter.com/8qQFGJwHez— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) March 29, 2016
With that out of the way, hard to feel particularly concerned about a loss in a game started by Greinke's stunt double, Anthony Banda. He scattered five hits and two walks over his four innings, and was charged with three runs, two earned. Brad Ziegler and Daniel Hudson both allowed runs, Ziegler giving up three hits and two walks in his inning of work, but there were zeroes posted by Joey Krehbiel, Evan Marshall and R.J. Hively. Doesn't look like anyone is going away quietly in the battle for the final bullpen spot: still, it's nice for the team to have some depth, because there will be volatility and injury over the course of the season.
The offense was uncharacteristically restrained in this one: a single run was a spring low, and only the second time they have scored less than three, ending that streak at 26 games. [For the record, the longest such streak in the regular season by Arizona was 21 conecutive games scoring 3+ runs, in April 2008] We did actually get on the board first, Brandon Drury bringing home Nick Ahmed with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning, but that was the only tally of the day for the D-backs. Ahmed had two of the team's ten hits, also stealing a base, and Yasmany Tomas got on base twice, with a hit and a walk. Chris Owings and Daniel Hudson made errors.
Interesting bit of news elsewhere, with left-handed reliever being released outright. That frees up a spot on the 40-man roster, so if the team does decide it needs to replace A.J. Pollock, that could now be down with someone not on the roster, such as Jason Bourgeois or Rickie Weeks Jr. We have seen quite a lot of the former in CF over the last week or so, which makes me wonder if it'll end up being him, since he could also likely be DFA'd without much fuss when A.J. is ready. We'll see. Anyway, tomorrow, we face the Oakland A's. Looks like we will even get to see a "proper" starting pitcher, in Shelby Miller. Just be aware, it's an early start, with a 12:05pm start.