Merrill Kelly dominated the Giants in his spring debut throwing 3 perfect innings and striking out 8 of the 9 batters.
Merrill came back from a 3-1 count to strike out Mike Yastrzemski to start the bottom of the first. He went on to strike out Brandon Crawford and Darin Ruff too to retire the side in order. He retired the side in order again in the bottom half of the 2nd, inducing a fly out and two more K’s. He then struck out the side again in the 3rd for his 5th straight strikeout and 8th of the game.
Merrill said after the game he felt great, and was throwing 94-95 MPH fastballs, but he was especially happy with his changeup today. (I always enjoy Merrill’s interviews, he gives thoughtful answers, no Nuke Laloosh stock comments from him)
David Peralta started a rally in the top of the Diamondbacks first with a somewhat comical two out walk. Freight Train thought he drew ball 4 on ball 3, removed his shin guard and started jogging down to first before being called back by the homeplate umpire. The next pitch was low and away for the real ball 4 and a somewhat sheepish Peralta waited dutifully for the umpire to waive him down to first. He moved up to 3rd when Christian Walker bounced a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw. Jordan Luplow followed with a double down the line to left scoring Peralta for a 1-0 Dbacks lead.
That’s all the lineup got off of Giants starter Logan Webb as he struck out the side in the 2nd and got two more K’s and a groundout after issuing a leadoff walk to Daulton Varsho in the 3rd. Webb was relieved by Jake McGee in the top of the 4th. Jake McCarthy laced a triple into the right field corner with two outs but was stranded there when Geraldo Perdomo flew out to end the inning.
Kyle Nelson came in to pitch the 4th and worked around a leadoff walk with a fly out and a 6-4-3 double play.
Peralta hit a two out double to score Varsho who had singled to reach first, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead.
Corbin Martin pitching the 5th followed up a throwing error by Geraldo Perdomo by surrendering a two run homer to Joey Bart to tie up the game 2-2. But Luplow and Matt Davidson hit back to back doubles to help the D-backs take the lead right back in the top of the 6th.
Martin had a much better second inning of work, retiring the side in order. He got two more outs and allowed a single in the 7th before giving way to Kevin Ginkel. Ginkel struck out the last batter of the inning. While Martin certainly was frustrated with the homer by Bart, it was actually a decent outing for him. He struck out 3 and did not walk a batter.
Dominic Canzone provided some fireworks in the 8th with a pinch hit two run blast to deep right field, upping the D-backs lead to 5-2.
Ryan Weiss pitched the 8th and got into immediate trouble, walking the leadoff hitter and then giving up a sharp double to left, giving the Giants runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. He had a chance to wriggle off the hook. A shallow fly to right failed to score the runner on third, but a ground out to short scored him anyway. He then walked the next batter and that was all for Weiss. Joe Mantiply came in to strikeout the last batter of the inning, and worked a scoreless 9th.
- Ketel Marte will definitely be in lineup and playing 2nd base tomorrow in Maryvale against the Brewers. Taylor Widener will get the start.
- In addition to scheduled game vs. the Angels on Friday, (Luke Weaver starting) the D-backs will also play a B squad game against the Angels that day as well.
- Hat Tip to Chuck Johnson, his comments on whether or not Spring Training should be shorter prompted me to ask Torey his thoughts on the issue:
I have my personal feelings about it. Remembering what it was like as a player, so I’m probably 50/50 on this. Players can be ready in 5 weeks and feel really good about it with the prep that’s done in an off season. I feel like pitchers can pull that off. But I know the reason for the full 6 week turn, I think it’s always been a topic of conversation for players in that 5th week. I know they’re always ready to move on and get the season started. We’ll see how it turns out this year. It’s always done with an eye on not allowing players to rush and be injured and specifically not to have pitchers ramp up too soon. I’m in favor of whatever’s done, but I know it can be done in a shorter period of time.