Record: 2-7. Change on 2019: -3,5.
Merrill Kelly got the start today for the Diamondbacks. He is another pitcher who is locked in a spring training “competition” for a spot in the rotation or bullpen in 2020. I would suggest listening to the last 1:20 of the audio file in the game thread intro to get a better understanding of what Torey means when he is looking at “competition”. It’s not reliant on stats or results. Something to keep in mind down the road when trying to divine who and why certain players make the roster or are given whatever roles. Of course final roster makeup is the purview of Mike Hazen and his team, but surely Torey has a lot of input.
Kelly looked sharp in this one. Spotting his fastball and throwing strikes, he worked ahead, throwing first pitch strikes to 9 of the first 11 batters he faced. He gave up a single in the first, and two singles in the second. But one of those baserunners , Mauricio Dubon, was caught by catcher John Hicks trying to steal. Kelly issued a one out walk in the 3rd, and then was pulled, having hit his pitch count. That baserunner later came around to score when minor leaguer Trevor Clifton allowed back to back singles in relief of Kelly, surrendering the inherited runner. In all Kelly threw 49 pitches, 33 for strikes with a final pitching line of 2 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO.
After the outing Kelly was asked if he thought much about what role he might be in, and he indicated he’s trying not to think about it, and just focus on what he can control and getting batters out. He also felt he had good command of his cutter, much better than last time.
Tim Locastro lead off the game for the D-backs and in Locastro fashion, hitting a flair into shallow right center field that he turned into a hustle double with a head first slide.
In the third inning John Hicks jumped on a first pitch cement mixer slider from Jeff Samrdzija, pulling it high and deep two thirds of the way up the berm down the line in left, making the score 1-1.
Edwin Jackson came on to pitch the 4th and had another very poor outing, giving up 4 hits including a double and a three run homer to Zach Green, putting the Giants up 4-1.
In the 5th inning Jon Duplantier entered the game and did not look sharp. A walk, a double, and wild pitch resulted in another run, and he allowed a walk and a wild pitch in the 6th.
David Peralta drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 6th , which was followed by a 10 minute rain delay. The reserves promptly entered the game , but were not able to get anything going as Ben Deluzio, Seth Beer, and Kevin Cron went down in order.
Jimmie Sherfy threw a scoreless 7th inning, allowing a loud double but nothing else. Andy Young had a base hit in the bottom half of another scoreless D-backs frame. It’s going to be hard for him to crack the opening day roster, but I think he is going to hit when given a chance. I suggest fans keep an eye on him.
Lefty Joe Mantiply worked a scoreless 8th, giving up a single and a stolen base but nothing else as he struck out two batters. The non roster invitee has looked pretty to me this spring. He’s bounced around a lot, but under certain circumstances, for example Alex Young in the rotation perhaps, Mantiply might find his way onto the MLB roster at some point during the season.
Giants reliever Andrew Triggs, he of the 89 MPH two seam fastball, struck out the side in order in the bottom of the 8th. Wyatt Mathisen, Travis Snider, and Ben Deluzio were all caught looking at strike three. I guess the umpire wanted to end this one as bad as the players, (and writers in the press box, the 58 fans still in the stands, and my wife in the Target parking lot waiting for me to take her to dinner)
Ryan Atkinsion had other ideas however. He walked the first two batters in the 9th. Joey Rickard then roped a line drive to centerfield and a charging Jon Jay slipped and fell on the wet grass, allowing the ball to get over his head and roll all the way to the wall. Good hustle by Travis Snider backing up on the play prevented it from being an inside the park homerun, but two runs scored and Rickard stood on 3rd with nobody out. That was followed by yet another walk, and manager Torey Lovullo finally went out and got Atkinson.
At this point, I decided to give my wife a break, and go meet up with her. Jim was kind enough to volunteer to finish this one up for me.
Hey, it worked for me. For I had conveniently just finished watching The Christine Keeler Affair, a 1963 film about the infamous scandal - and a movie about which questions were asked in the British House of Parliament. Though it’s probably most notable for Keeler’s presence, playing herself at the start and end. What? You want to hear about the game? No, trust me: you don’t. But if you INSIST...
And so ends another ugly loss for the D-backs, their sixth in a row. This won’t have done their major-league worst ERA many favors, and the offense was held to one run on five hits, without even any garbage time runs to make the score look respectable. Tim Locastro had two of the hits, and Kole Calhoun drew a pair of walks. Tomorrow, it’s off to Surprise for an evening game (6:05 first pitch) against Kansas City, with Luke Weaver getting the start.