Record: 2-1. Change on 2015: 0.
The biggest free-agent acquisition in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks took the mound in a game for the first time this afternoon, in front of 9,875 eager spectactors at Salt River Fields. And Zack Greinke delivered on his $200+ million-dollar deal with two scoreless innings of one-hit ball, striking out a pair and facing the minimum. Only one batter reached base, Yonder Alonso singling to lead off the second inning, but was thrown out at second after unwisely trying to advance on a Yasmany Tomas bobble. He threw a total of 25 pitches, with 16 for strike, all but a couple of his offering being fastballs (one of the exceptions, a 75.2 mph curve for his first delivery!).
Though Greinke was also helped out by some good defense from Welington Castillo and Paul Goldschmidt, safe to say, it was everything we could have wanted. Admittedly, this being the first outing of spring, as long as Grienke left the mound with the same count of functioning limbs as when he took it, I'd probably have professed myself highly satisfied with the afternoon's work. Here's Zack discussing his first outing as a Diamondback, after the game:
In between his first and second innings, Jean Segura continued his impressive start to the spring, cranking the second pitch he saw over the fence in left-center field for his first home-run as a Diamondback. The Diamondbacks added a second run their next time up, Gabby Guerrero driving home Rickie Weeks, and after the Athletics had tied things up in the third, broke the game open with a four-run third. That included an RBI single for Weeks and a three-run home-run for Guerrero, which
apparently seemed more like a pop-fly off the bat: the ball seems to be carrying well at Salt River Fields this year. was a screaming line-drive just over the wall.
That was the end of the scoring, but we outhit the A's by a solid 10-5 margin. Weeks and Guerrero each had a pair of hits, as did Segura, and Goldschmidt reached base twice, on a hit and a walk. Evan Marzilli stole a base, and Zach Borenstein still won't make outs, coming off the bench late to draw a walk, and increase his spring OPS to 2.417. That's just ahead of Segura for the team lead; Jean is batting .833 with a 2.166 OPS. Don't you love early spring statistics? #Totallysustainable.
Tyler Wagner followed Greinke to the mound, and had an unimpressive first inning, which saw the A's fall a home-run short of a natural cycle, and also draw a walk. Wagner's second inning was considerably better, getting three consecutive groundouts, so hopefully this was just him needing to find the feel for his sinker. Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds took over, each working a scoreless, hitless inning, and Josh Collmenter allowed one run over his two innings, on a solo home-run.
By now, the usual game of Cactus League Bingo was in full swing, with the backups in play, but those who stuck around to the end did get a special moment. The return of Evan Marshall, pitching in a game for the first time since almost losing his life while pitching for Reno last August. He allowed a two-out walk, but nothing else, and picked up the save, in what was clearly a significant moment. Great to see him back on the mound after such a horrible incident.
Tomorrow, it's the first time away from Salt River Fields for the Diamondbacks, and it'll be an interesting one, as they head over to Camelback Ranch for their first contest against the National League West, in the shape of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shelby Miller is the scheduled starter for the Diamondbacks, and this one is being broadcast both on MLB.tv and on the radio, through Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. First pitch is 1:05pm.