Record: 7-8-1. Five-inning record: 7-7-2.
The A’s and D-backs each got nine hits today, but the outcome of them was quite different. Arizona piled up a dozen runs, mostly because. for once, the gods of clutch were smiling on them. The Diamondbacks were 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while their opponents were 0-for-9. Arizona also took advantage of some Oakland wildness, especially in a five-run eighth inning which included five of our six walks, including at one point, four in a row. But there was hitting as well, with home-runs by Ketel Marte in the first (his second) and Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth, his first of spring. The latter also had a double, getting his spring OPS up to .780.
It wasn’t all sunshine though, as Daulton Varsho’s struggles continued, going 0-for-2 with a walk. That was his first walk of the year, and came in the eighth when free passes were being handed out like Halloween candy, so I’m not too excited. He’s now 4-for-31 with eight strikeouts, and it feels like an uphill struggle for him to make the Opening Day roster. There was a bit of a concerning moment when Ketel Marte - hit by a pitch yesterday - pulled up lame into base and was removed from the game. However, he just rolled his ankle a bit on a base. He was scheduled for an off-day tomorrow anyway, and Torey Lovullo just decided to get an early jump on that. “Minimal concern” was the phrase used.
On the pitching front, Madison Bumgarner was... okay. Not quite the six K performance we saw last time, but these were better hitters. He went four innings, allowing two solo home-runs and a single, but didn’t walk any and struck out three. MadBum said afterwards he felt pretty good, in a vague statement of moderate satisfaction. He even got to bat twice, walking the first time, and striking out the second. Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless fifth, Anthony Swarzak did give up a run on a hit and two walks in the sixth, and Taylor Clarke took things the rest of the way. He three three scoreless, on four hits and no walks, with a pair of strikeouts.
Tomorrow it’s off to Surprise, for an evening game against the Rangers. with no apparent local coverage to be found. Not even a starting pitcher announced yet.