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Diamondbacks 1, Cubs 7: Less fun than watching tiling

“You missed a spot” is not helpful, apparently. But I was only talking about Caleb Smith...

Record: 8-15-5.

The Diamondbacks finish Cactus League play [tomorrow’s game, being at Chase Field, apparently doesn’t count] with just 8 wins in 28 attempts The resulting win percentage, discounting the ties, of .348 is actually pretty close to what it was last year, when Arizona went 6-11 before play was suspended. a .353 W%. That’s their lowest figure since 2011 (12-25, .324) and fewest wins going as far back as I could check standings, which in 2003. Then again, the D-backs haven’t actually had a winning spring since 2016, when they were 24-8 and “won” the Cactus League. That helped them not a jot in the regular season, where they went 69-93. So perhaps not read too much into this.

However, it is worrying how poorly most of our starting pitchers have come across in the pre-seaspn, Today, Caleb Smith allowed seven earned runs on eight hits and a walk, in just 3.2 innings. He did have five strikeouts, but ends spring with a pre-season ERA of 8.57. That puts him in good company, alongside Luke Weaver (8.58) and Madison Bumgarner (6.35). Merrill Kelly (5.30) looks positively Johnson-eseque in comparison, and Taylor Widener (4.00) is the only one of our Opening Day rotation with a spring ERA below five. But again: spring training numbers count for nothing, I feel sure Smith said something along those lines in his post-game interview. All I can hear is the hammering from the kitchen.

Positives? Kevin Ginkel and Carlos Nava combined for three scoreless innings, post-Smith’s departure. Taylor Guillaume put up a zero - albeit just, leaving the bases loaded. Christian Walker got two hits, while David Peralta and Ketel Marte each had a hit and a walk. Marte ends Cactus League play with the best OPS among D-backs with meaningful at-bats, posting a 1.165 OPS, while Walker also finished above a thousand. It was an early start, so I’ve got the rest of the day free. And the kitchen is coming along nicely. Tomorrow, it’s back to Chase Field for the last tune-up, against the Indians. Taylor Widener, the new back of the rotation guy, starts and that’s a 12:40 pm first pitch.

I’ll leave you with this, a reference to a typo’d text exchange I had with Jack. Don’t ask. It won’t help.

Torey Lovullo post-game comments, via Jack

  • Tim Locastro is doing fine after getting hit in the head by a pitch today. He was a little stunned, but when they went to check him out he was fine. Asked if he got hit by pitches in practice when nobody is around Torey laughed and said there was no incentive for that. “He’s just got a knack for standing there and letting the ball hit him. You gotta be brave”
  • On Caleb Smith’s outing, he just did not execute on his putaway pitches and finish guys off. But he attacked the strike zone, so at least there’s that.