Record: 3-4. Change on 2017: 0.
If the last couple of games are any indication, we’d better hope for a lot of big leads after eight innings. Between yesterday and today, Diamondbacks’ pitchers have allowed a total of 11 runs in the ninth inning, while retiring just four batters. This afternoon at Salt River Fields, the Rockies’ punching bag was Jake Buchanan, who faced seven Colorado hitters and didn’t retire ANY of them. He allowed six hits and a walk, by players I doubt you know, being charged with five runs, all earned. With an ERA of 31.50 after his first two appearances, this non-roster invitee is not exactly winning friends and influencing people. Signed in December, it’ll be impressive if he survives the first round of roster cuts.
Little more impressive so far is Yoshihisa Hirano, who allowed two runs on three hits in his inning, and has a 13.50 ERA, with five hits allowed over two frames. That is a small sample size, obviously, and I think he should definitely be cut some slack, as Hirano makes the difficult adjustment from Japan to the majors. However, no slack will be cut come Opening Day, so the sooner the better. Patrick Corbin had a decent start, allowing one run over two innings on two hits with a pair of K’s. Interesting to see Matt Koch stretched out, tossing 2.2 innings (one ER, three K’s); he may be starting pitching depth again this year. Antonio Bastardo fanned a pair in his 1-2-3 third innings and is likely moving up the bullpen charts.
There wasn’t much offense to speak of, the Diamondbacks being held to only five hits. After Goldy’s RBI single gave us a brief lead in the first, the highlight there was a two-run home-run off the bat of Rey Fuentes in the seventh. That’s an event only surpassed in unlikeliness by Tuffy Gosewisch’s homer for the Mariners this afternoon in Goodyear. A.J. Pollock had a double, for his first hit of spring training. That leaves Jeff Mathis as about the only significant roster contender without a hit, save for Steven Souza, who made his Diamondbacks’ debut this afternoon, batting fifth. He drew a walk, leading off the second inning, then flew out to right in the fifth.
Tomorrow, the D-backs host the Brewers, and it’ll be the first game televised on Fox Sports Arizona, so that’ll give us a chance to see what we’ve so far only heard about.