Record: 2-6. Change on 2019: -3.5.
There is, understandably, a lot of complaints about tickets for spring training games being basically indistinguishable in price from regular season games. For example, the lawn on next Saturday’s game at Salt River Fields against San Diego - so, not exactly a premium opponent - is $29.00. And that doesn’t even get you a seat. For the first Saturday game at Chase Field this year against the same opponent, on June 6, outfield bleacher seats are... $29.00. Y’know, for a game that actually counts, and where you might recognize more than a third of the players after the fourth inning. It’s little wonder that I won’t be going to any games at Salt River Fields this year.
That’s especially the case when we could get seats, as shown below, in the second row behind the Diamondbacks dugout, for today’s game, at less than the price of those lawn tickets: $27. And Goodyear is a perfectly functional little stadium, which is cheaper in other ways as well. I particularly enjoyed my jalapeno bacon-wrapped, foot-long hot-dog for $10.50. I strongly recommend forgoing the “experience” at the more highly-touted parks, in favor of seeing your team - whoever they may be - at one of the other parks. It makes for much better value. Maryvale or Hohokam likely also fall into similar territory, if you’re not located on the West side, as is the case for SnakePit Towers.
Just a shame that the Diamondbacks’ performance wasn’t up to the rest of the very pleasant afternoon spent in Goodyear with Mrs. Snakepit. It started off pretty well. Zac Gallen looked excellent through the first two innings. He retired all six batters he faced, three of them by strikeouts and the others on groundouts, was getting swings and misses and was hitting 94-95 on the radar-gun. Having started his Cactus League campaign by going 12 up, 12 down, the idea of him having to “compete” for a position in the starting rotation seemed a bit silly. Unfortunately, the bottom of the third went walk, hit by pitch, and then the first hit for either side, a three-run homer.
Gallen finished the day with a strikeout, and overall pitched better than his line of three runs over 2.1 innings would suggest. He allowed one hit, plus the walk and HBP, striking out four. Arizona got their first hit in the fourth, off the bat of Stephen Vogt, and got on the board in the fifth, when outfielder Trayce Thompson hit his second homer in as many days. Yes, if you had Thompson leading the team in home-runs, at the end of the first full week of spring training. please take your slip to the cashier’s window. But that was as close as Arizona would come, Yoan Lopez having a bit of a stinker in the bottom half. He allowed five hits and four runs, letting the Indians leap out to a 7-1 lead.
One of the great things about not being a “professional” journalist, is that in games like this, I get to say “Screw this for a game of soldiers,” and spent the remainder of the afternoon meandering about the ballpark with Mrs. S, paying little or no attention to the contest. I can neither confirm nor deny, in fact, that we may have skipped out early, in order to get the weekly supermarket shop completed. We thus missed Cleveland going 10-1 up after seven, as Eduardo Jimenez and Damien Magnifico allowed runs. However, we also missed Arizona drawing four walks in the eighth, to push a second run across, and Renae Martinez’s grand-slam with two outs in the ninth. which made the score much kinder than we deserved.
Martinez also drew a walk in addition to his home-run, and was the only D-back to reach safely twice. Junior Guerra and Miguel Aguilar were the only Arizona pitchers to get through a full inning without allowing a run. But it was a fifth consecutive loss for the Diamondbacks, and their spring ERA now sits at an ugly 8.34. That’s dead last in the majors, with no-one else even being at seven. Oddly though, they have 81 strikeouts in 68 innings, which is one of the best K-rates. So, whatevs. This is my unbothered face. Tomorrow, they’re back at Salt River Fields to take on the San Francisco Giants, with Merrill Kelly starting.