Record: 4-2. Change on 2015: -0.5.
[In case you're wondering, our sixth preseason game last season ended in a 3-3 spring training tie, hence the half a game difference!]
Definitely give the run producers credit for this win. A couple of things make it especially impressive. Firstly, this was a line-up without either Paul Goldschmidt or A.J. Pollock - the last time we tried that, we were held to two runs by the Dodgers on Saturday. Secondly, this wasn't particularly a case of the Diamondbacks padding the score over the later innings against prospects and non-roster invitees. Indeed the Arizona batters pounded out all but one of their 17 hits over the first five innings, and took a commanding seven-run lead over Seattle by the half-way point.
Given then, a little surprising they ended up having to hang on for the win in Peoria - the home team came back, with the Mariners putting the tying run on base with no outs in the ninth inning, before finally succumbing. Still, good lines for a number of D-backs. Leading the charge was Welington Castillo, who had three hits, all for extra-bases, including his second spring home-run, and drove in five runs. Phil Gosselin also had three hits, Nick Ahmed drove in three with his two knocks, and Brandon Drury had three RBI, including his first home-run of spring. David Peralta and Carlos Rivera got two hits each.
However, the two starting pitchers who appeared both had their share of problems. Rubby De La Rosa was tested by a Seattle line-up full of left-handed hitters. It started well enough, working round a rare Ahmed error in the first with a double-play, and Rubby then retired the first two Mariners in the second inning. However, it took him six attempts to get that tricky third out, three runs crossing the plate in the meantime. When the first batter in his third scheduled inning reached, that was the end of De La Rosa's day, with a final line of three runs on four hits and two walks over 2.0 innings, with one strikeout.
After Kyle Drabek tidied up the third. Archie Bradley came in for the fourth, and was treated not very differently. He had a good first frame, getting two K's and a caught stealing, followed by another K to open the fifth. However, Seattle then started to square up Bradley, and he didn't get through his third inning either. He allowed a total of seven hits and three runs over 2.2 innings, with no walks and a trio of strikeouts. It might have been worse still, if not for a runner being nailed at the plate on a relay from left to end the fifth inning. Though in Bradley's defense, a BABIP of .667 (nine balls in play, six hits) is pretty unlucky.
The rest of the pitching was a bit of a mixed bag. Evan Marshall worked a clean seventh inning, with a strikeout, but Matt Reynolds did not fare well, giving up four hits and two runs, including a long-ball, in the eighth, as the Mariners inched ever closer. Matt Capps got the save in the ninth, though it was a kinda wobbly one, and helped by a double-play after the first two Seattle hitters had reached. Overall, though, a solid victory over the first five innings, which is what shoewizard taught me to look at, at this point in spring training. :)
Tomorrow afternoon's game is against the Angels at Tempe Diablo, and will be on Fox Sports Arizona - albeit with their announcers!