Cactus League record: 13-11-2. Change on 2016: -7.
If you lose a game, in which you don’t actually have a starting pitcher, does it even count? Seems legit to me. For the Diamondbacks played this one without Patrick Corbin, opting to keep him away from another NL West team. Instead, they rolled out a rolling buffet of names, needing nine men to get throw eight innings of work, and for the most part they represented a veritable “Who’s he?” of pitchers. No disrespect intended to the men involved, but it seems a bit odd to see the likes of Marlon Arias, Brooks Hall and Eric Jokisch in action, considering there are just nine days left until Opening Day. It may explain why we walked eight this afternoon, with six K’s.
After a quick first, thanks to a double-play, Andrew Chafin and Zack Godley hit trouble in the second. Chafin loaded the bases without retiring a batter, and one out later, was replaced by Godley. He allowed all three inherited runners to score, as well as one of his own, and the rout was on after the Dodgers scored seven more during the fourth and fifth innings. Kevin Jepsen and Arias were the most rudely treated of the pitchers: however, there were scoreless innings from J.J. Hoover and Tom Wilhelmsen. Both may have done enough to make the Opening Day bullpen. Hoover has 8.2 scoreless innings with a K:BB of 11:1, and Wilhelmsen a 1.08 ERA, with just three hits allowed over 8.1 IP.
We actually outhit the Dodgers 12-11, not that it helped much. Leading the way was Reymond Fuentes, who had three hits including his second Cactus League home-run and is batting .750 for spring. That’s not a mis-print: it is, admittedly, a small sample size, because Fuentes was away with the Puerto Rican team in the WBC. But he has still gone 9-for-12 for Arizona. That’s more hits than many players who have been here the entire time, e.g. Jeremy Hazelbaker, who appeared in his 20th game for us today and has eight hits. Might Fuentes be this year’s dark horse Opening Day roster man?
The game also saw the returns of Paul Goldschmidt from the wilderness which was the latter stages of the WBC, and A.J. Pollock from his groin injury. Paul went 1-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, and Pollock 0-for-2 with a walk, but according to Steve Gilbert, reported no discomfort, which is what matters. Chris Herrmann had a pair of hits, including a double, while Kristopher Negron had a hit, a walk and stole a base. Tomorrow, we play the American League half of Los Angeles at Tempe Diablo, with an actual starting pitcher present, in the shape of Taijuan Walker. Should probably help.