Record: 5-9-2. Change on 2019: -1.
The Diamondbacks’ pitching staff has struggled so far. They had only held the opposition to fewer than five runs in two of their first fifteen games, and we’ve previously documented how that had easily the worst spring ERA of any major-league team. That may still be the case, but this afternoon was definitely a step in the right direction, Jon Duplantier and four relievers holding the Cubs to three hits and one run. Heck, even Edwin Jackson pitched a scoreless inning this afternoon at Sloan Park, after a lead-off walk. though his ERA is still capable of getting married in Arizona...
The Diamondbacks opened the scoring, David Peralta driving in Josh Rosas with a single in the first inning. Duplantier got into trouble in the second, hitting one batter and walking two more, the last of which forced in the tying run. But he got Wilson Contreras to ground out, and the pitchers shut out the Cubs thereafter. Indeed, over the final seven innings, Chicago could manage only one hit and a walk, while striking out seven times. Junior Guerra looked particularly good, retiring all five batters he faced, two by the strikeout. He has now thrown 5.2 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball this spring, with four strikeouts. Yoan Lopez also looked better than of late, going six up, six down with a pair of K’s.
The resurrection of Jake Lamb also continued apace, as he homered and singled, driving in three runs. He is 6-for-10 with two home-runs and seven RBI over his last three games, after starting spring 1-for-13. Arizona smacked fifteen hits in total, with three for Stephen Vogt and Ildemaro Vargas, while David Peralta and Jon Jay notched two apiece. Yasmany Tomas hit his second home-run of spring in the ninth inning, a two-run shot which provided the final margin of victory on a very satisfactory afternoon for the D-backs.
Tomorrow, the team will face Kansas City back at Salt River Fields, with Madison Bumgarner taking the mound for Arizona.