Cactus League record: 8-8. Change on 2016: -4.5
At this point in the Cactus League last year, the D-backs had a record of 12-3 with one game ending tied, and had just beaten the Cincinnati Reds 10-6, to reel off their eighth consecutive pre-season victory, part of a 19-game streak where they lost precisely once. But, of course, that level of performance proved entirely illusory once the regular season. I think the current 8-8 record is perhaps better: it’s not creating any real expectations. But this afternoon could have gone better, with the D-backs committing four errors, leading to six unearned runs for the Giants.
Archie Bradley got the start, and allowed one earned run over his four innings, which is as good a line as he has put up this spring. However, there were also two unearned runs, resulting from Bradley’s own error, after he threw the ball away attempting to get the force at second-base in the second inning. A single and two-RBI double followed, but that was all the damage San Francisco would do against Archie. He allowed five hits, but didn’t walk anyone and struck out two.
Enrique Burgos came in to replace Bradley, and was rudely treated in the fifth, being charged with four runs on four hits and a walk. Tyler Jones and Randall Delgado followed with scoreless innings, but San Francisco then took advantage of more sloppy Arizona play, scoring five in their last time at bat off Andrew Chafin, four of them being unearned. Jake Goebbert and Ildemaro Vargas committed the errors there, completing the four-pack after Oswaldo Arcia had made another outfield gaffe earlier.
The offense actually did their part: they had more base-runners than San Francisco, drawing six walks in addition to 13 hits, compared to the Giants’ figures of one and 14 respectively. But they were hurt by four double-plays, two off the bat of Brandon Drury. A.J. Pollock led off the game with his first home-run of the pre-season, but was removed shortly thereafter in what the team is calling “a precaution due to left groin tightness.” Fingers crossed that precautionary is all it is. His replacement Evan Marzilli got a pair of hits, while Jeff Mathis and Domingo Leyba each went 2-for-2, Jake Lamb drew a pair of walks, and Kristopher Negron enjoyed a three-hit afternoon.
Tomorrow is an off day for the D-backs. I just don’t know what we’re going to do with ourselves. :) But I’m off to watch USA vs. Canada in the World Baseball Classic.