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Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 4: Godley-awful

Fortunately, Yu Darvish wasn’t much better.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Record: 3-1. Change on 2018: +1. 5-inning record: 2-0-2

A pair of ugly debuts this spring for Zack Godley and Yu Darvish. Neither were able even to get through their expected two innings. Instead, their combined line was
Godley/Darvish: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 7 BB (!), 0 SO
Yeah, safe to say that neither pitcher had that control thing working this afternoon at Sloan Park. Reports suggest that Godley may have been suffering from the whole “falling off the mound” problem which plagued him in 2018, and caused problems with his delivery. Now, this is why we have spring training, of course. But given how troublesome and hard to fix this ailment proved last year, seeing it out of the gate this season wasn’t what I wanted.

In fact, Godley retired one batter in the bottom of the first. It went double, walk, RBI single, groundout, walk; then a fielder’s choice/throwing error by 1B Christian Walker allowed two more runs to score. A wild pitch and another walk ended Zack’s day, as he was replaced by the marvelously-named Damien Magnifico, a name surely befitting a stage magician more than a pitcher. Still, given he came in with the bases loaded and one out, escaping with only a sacrifice fly allowed was not a bad trick. And fortunately, the D-backs offense were even more impressive, immediately making that four-run Cubs lead vanish like a Las Vegas showgirl with a five-run second inning.

C Alex Avila got it started with a walk, and RF Yasmany Tomas legged his way out of a double-play. SS Jazz Chisholm walked, chasing Snyder and LF Rob Refsnyder singled to load the bases for us as well with one out. CF Socrates Brito got Arizona on the board with a sacrifice fly, and the D-backs took full advantage after an error by Kris Bryant allowed 3B Kelly Tomlinson to reach, re-loading the bags. For 2B Wilmer Flores unclogged them, tying the game with a bases-clearing double to left, and Walker redeemed himself for his gaffe with a go-ahead RBI single. That turned out to be the end of the scoring for either side, giving Magnifico the W.

Can’t argue with the effectiveness of the Arizona bullpen, where eight pitchers combined for 8.2 innings of one-hit ball. After Magnifico, Ricky Nolasco, Mark Rzepcynski, Jimmie Sherfy, Stefan Crichton, Michael Kohn and Kevin McCanna each threw a scoreless inning, with Emilio Vargas being extended to work both the fifth and sixth. Rzepcynski was the only man to give up a hit - but also struck out the other three batters he faced. Sherfy walked two batters in the fourth; McCanna also allowed two free passes in the ninth, to put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead one on first, before recovering with back-to-back strikeouts for the save.

Arizona’s hitters didn’t do much better, managing only two hits after the second inning. Both teams managed more walks than hits - together, the Giants and D-backs combined for eight hits and fifteen walks. Walker continued his hot start, going 2-for-2 with a walk, to boost his spring training average to a healthy .833. I’m predicting that may not be sustainable. :) Flores had a hit and a walk and is batting .750. Tomorrow, the D-backs are back on the West side of town, facing the Padres at Peoria. Prospect Taylor Clarke gets the start for Arizona.