Record: 2-4. Change on 2016: -2.
If you had made a quick exit from Salt River Fields this afternoon, leaving after five innings in order to beat the rush-hour traffic on the 101, this would have seemed like a pretty good game. For at that point, the Diamondbacks were 6-0 ahead of the Padres. Archie Bradley had escaped a jam in the first inning, then rebounded back with two solid frames, while a five-run second inning had Arizona, surely, on the way to victory. Then the D-backs B-bullpen said, “Here, hold my beer,” promptly allowing the Padres to score eight times in the seventh and eighth inning.
But let’s focus (for now) on the positives. Bradley struggled a bit with his control in the first inning, falling the first two hitters, before eventually allowing singles to each, to put runners on the corners with no outs. But he managed a nice escape, picking the man off first before getting a K and a ground-out. He didn’t allow a base-runner the rest of the way, retiring eight Padres in a row after the pick-off, to get through three scoreless innings. He gave up just those two hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out four, so this was better, in just about every way, than Archie’s first outing. He threw 44 pitches, 25 for strikes.
The A-bullpen candidates that followed were solid too. Fernando Rodney made his first appearance of spring, putting up a zero in the fourth, and J.J. Hoover struck out two while allowing a hit in the fifth. Then the wheels fell off. The locking nuts loosened with Erik Davis’s loss of the shutout in the sixth, before things turned apocalyptic. It took four relievers to get the next six outs. Joey Krehbiel, Johnny Omahen, Miller Diaz and Brooks Hall combined to allow seven hits, two walks and eight runs, all but one of them earned. Diaz almost escaped, after putting the go-ahead run on third with no outs. He retired the next two batter, but a three-run homer blew this one.
The offense shut up shop after the fifth inning too, managing one hit the rest of the way. They had been effective early, particularly in that five-run second inning. Jack Reinheimer got things going with a sacrifice fly. Nick Ahmed followed with a two-run double, and he then scored on Oscar Hernandez’s first home-run of spring a no doubter down the left-field line (below, via @Dbacks). Socrates Brito finished things off with an RBI single in the fifth, marking the high-water mark of this afternoon as a pleasant experience. Paul Goldschmidt had two hits, Oswaldo Arcia got a hit and a walk, as did Chris Owings and Reinheimer.
We now turn our attentions to the evening game against the Cubs, where Shelby Miller will look to build on a decent first outing. Gameday Thread for that to follow in a bit!