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Diamondbacks 6, Royals 6: Fit to be tied

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A back and forth game ended in Arizona’s third tie of spring

Kansas City Royals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Record: 7-10-3. Five-inning record: 9-8-3.

Luke Weaver was the starter, and as in his last Cactus League outing on March 9, the long-ball continues to give him trouble. A pair of home-runs were responsible for three of the four runs Weaver allowed this afternoon, after giving up three his previous time out. All told, he has allowed five HR in 9.1 innings of work. Small sample size, obviously, but it does suggest a lot of hard contact. This afternoon, it started with the first batter - is it just me, or do there seem to have been a lot of homers leading off games this year? - who took Weaver deep on his second pitch of the game. Another long-ball followed in the fourth, a two-run shot, although it was an error by Tim Locastro which made it so.

All told, Weaver threw 74 pitches over 4.1 innings, scattering seven hits. He walked none and K’d five. He felt it went well despite the line, with the best changeup he’s had all year. He says he threw a slider today, with more depth and movement. It’s definitely different from a cutter, which is what was showing on Gameday/Statcast. Maybe “somebody needs to make a phone call” to the statcast guys! He also talked about the difference between a “cutter” and “cut fastball”, an interesting conversation. He mentioned it was tough for him personally pitching in empty stadiums last year. It’s so much better with fans in the stands, and joked about some heckling he received with “the concessions stands wide open”!

Luke Weaver audio [or link]

Carlos Navas tidied up the fifth, then Taylor Widener took things the rest of the way. He gave up a pair of runs over four innings, on three hits with four strikeouts. There were no walks by any Diamondbacks pitchers this afternoon, which is always good to see. All Arizona’s offense came in the third through fifth innings. Stephen Vogt had his second home-run of spring, while Christian Walker had a pair of hits and drove in four runs. Vogt also walked, and Nick Ahmed drew a pair of free passes. But as Jack mentioned, Trayce Thompson had another ohfer, Since his three-hit game on March 4, he has gone 6-for-39 with no HR and 16 strikeouts. Maybe our anointing of him was a bit premature...

After the game, Torey Lovullo said there was still no info ready to present on Tyler Clippard. ”Still gathering some information... We don’t have it all ready, I don’t have a complete report to give you right now” Sounds ominous. I asked Torey if he felt like Christian Walker had another gear up: “I think the sky’s the limit for him... He is consistent with his swing plane and work ethic on both offense and defense, and we’re watching him improve day by day. So I have reason to think he can continue to improve”

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]

Tomorrow, it’s another game at Salt River, against the White Sox, with Madison Bumgarner the scheduled starter. Looks like that game is on both television AND radio. #Choices