Cactus League record: 1-0. Change on 2018: +1
As I mentioned on Twitter, so much for that “pace of play” thing. The first game for the D-backs in the Cactus League this year required fourteen minutes short of four hours to complete. Of course, part of that was the game going extra innings, and thus the sides combining to use nineteen different pitchers this afternoon at Salt River Fields.
A lot of the excitement here happened late. The game was tied at four going into the ninth, before a Daniel Robertson sacrifice fly scored Galli Cribbs to give the D-backs their first lead of the game. But Joel Payamps was unable to close things out, as his lead-off hit by pitch came around to score in the last of the ninth. RBI singles by Cribbs and Robertson in the top of the 10th then gave Arizona back the lead. Bradin Hagens gave one of those runs right back, allowing a lead-off homer in the bottom half, then a pair of two out singles before getting a called strike three to send the away fans home happy. Even though they were playing in their own ballpark.
Welcome to spring training, folks. For if you’re going “Who?” for most of the above paragraph, you’re likely not alone, and will be forgiven. The names you’d recognize were largely gone after two at-bats: Jeremy Hazelbaker received a bonus trip to the plate, perhaps a reward for hitting Arizona first home-run, a solo shot in the third inning (above). Beyond that, however, runs were hard to come by for the Diamondbacks. The bulk of the scoring came from a three-run homer off the bat of catcher Michael Perez, with nobody out in the seventh. Cribbs had a pair of hit, Chris Owings drew two walks as today’s DH and Yasmany Tomas reached twice with a hit and a walk.
However, we also got the first Tomastake of 2018, when the left-fielder mis-played a single in the second inning, letting it get past him, an error which cost his team a run. That was unearned on Matt Koch, one of two runs he allowed over his 1.2 innings of work: he permitted two hits and a walk. The game also saw the debuts in Sedona Red of Fernando Salas and Brad Boxberger: they worked a hitless fourth and sixth inning respectively. However, Silvino Bracho and Andrew Chafin each allowed a run in their first spring appearances.
It’s back at Salt River Fields tomorrow, for our “home” debut against the Cleveland Indians. Zack Godley starts for Arizona, with a 1:10pm first pitch.