Record: 0-1. 5-inning record: 0-1.
The D-backs scored twice in the third inning, and Zac Gallen pitched two scoreless innings. But the middle innings of relief left a bit to be deserved, and the D-backs dropped their Cactus League opener, curtailed by mutual agreement to eight innings. Such are the joys of spring, with Gallen’s first inning also ending after two outs, for pitch-count reasons. He threw a total of 47 pitches, allowing two hits and two walks with a strikeout. Zac was sitting a consistent 91-92 mph, peaking as high as 93, which is pretty good for the first outing of spring.
Arizona got on the board with a solo home-run by Trayce Thompson, who started 2021 spring training in the same way he left off when things were canceled in 2020. He cranked a full-count curveball onto the berm in left-field. Ketel Marte legged out an infeld hit, and after advancing on a wild pitch, scored as David Peralta drove one off the outfield wall, making it 2-0. However, that double with one out in the third would be the last hit Arizona would manage. They were held to four hits and four walks, Wyatt Mathisen drawing two of the latter. They did get the tying run on base in the eighth, on a pair of walks, but were not able to get it home.
After Gallen, Taylor Clarke and Seth Frankoff both struggled, each man allowing two runs in their two innings of work. Clarke allowed four hits and a walk, and Frankoff three hits and a walk, as Colorado took a 4-2 lead. There was some good news, with J.B. Bukauskas striking out two of the three batters he faced, in a crisp 14-pitch seventh, as he makes the move to a relief role. Tyler Gilbert was charged with an earned run in the eighth, though was probably unlucky to do so, with one hit which could have been called an error, and a fly-ball with which the wind appeared to play havoc.
There was a sellout crowd for this one, though that only came in at 2,100 fans, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Still, not a bad day for it. It’s the first “home” game for the D-backs tomorrow, when they welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to Salt River Fields. It’s another 1:10 pm start, with the game being broadcast on dbacks.com. Merrill Kelly starts, and it will be interesting to see how he looks after his off-season surgery.