Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 2
Madison Bumgarner made his second spring start and overall it went pretty good. He threw 62 pitches, 43 for strikes, and he said after the outing that he felt really good about his command. He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s and a homer.
He had an efficient 8 pitch inning in the first. But in the second he labored through an 11 pitch at bat by C.J. Cron before finally inducing a ground out. One out later Ryan McMahon worked a 12 pitch walk. With his pitch count at 25 for the inning, he was pulled in favor of Mitchell Stumpo, who recorded the final out of the inning.
This being spring training, Bum was reinstated for the 3rd inning. Geraldo Perdomo made a great diving stop and came up with a strong throw to nab Brendan Rodgers leading off the 3rd. But David Peralta lost a routine fly ball in the sun that fell just behind him for a double, and Cron blasted the next pitch from Bumgarner to the left field berm for 2 runs.
Still the outing was better than the pitching line indicated. His velocity was good, 91-92 on the four seamer, 87-88 on the cutter. Bumgarner spoke openly about how much he is enjoying working with pitching coach Brent Strom. He said that while many coaches claim to be using a hybrid approach between old school and new school, Strom is the first one that he’s worked with that actually lives up to that billing.
He also commented that Strom isn’t the type of guy to tell you something and if you don’t do it their way just wash their hands of you. The two way communication seems quite good.
The Dbacks had a 3 run second inning. Christian Walker singled, and Carson Kelly ripped a patented double down into the left field corner to bring Walker all the way around to score. Alek Thomas singled on a ball up the middle to score Kelly , and then Perdomo ripped a double to left center to score Thomas.
Walker also socked a two run homer to left in 6th, upping the lead to 5-2, completing the scoring for the day.
Asking Torey after the game if Perdomo’s performance on defense and at the plate today eased his mind a bit over the Ahmed injury, he said:
“You always are concerned if somebody steps off the field and they get injured, and you’re always looking for the most capable backup. When I see Gerry perform the way he did and the atmosphere he was in, it’s very encouraging. But he still needs to keep working. Needs to keep going and doing his thing and earning everything he possibly can right now”
Mark Melancon got in the game. He got two quick outs, but then gave up a single and followed that up by hitting Cron in the helmet with a cutter up and in. A visibly shaken and upset Cron got up off his knees and made his way to 1st before the manager removed him for a pinch runner.
Notably, Melancon’s cutter seems stuck at 88-89 MPH. Last year it was 92 MPH. It’s only his second spring outing, so it’s still early. But this still bears monitoring. Yet another 36 year old reliever learning to work with much less velocity lost overnight is not what you want.
Sean Poppen, Oliver Perez each worked a scoreless inning. Lefty Tommy Henry pitched the final two frames, allowing just a walk in the 8th and a single in the 9th while striking out 3. His velocity was around 92-93 on the four seamer. Torey praised his mound presence after the game.
In the other split squad game, the Diamondbacks elected to start rotation hopeful Tyler Gilbert. With most of the team’s expected starters in the game against the Rockies, this was more of a B-squad game, with Pavin Smith as the only scheduled regular in the starting lineup, with the team’s bench and depth options getting looks. The D-backs B-squadders were going up against A.J. Alexy, a former 11th round pick by the Dodgers in the 2016 Draft who was part of the Yu Darvish deal in 2017.
Gilbert looked good in this game, as he punched out 3 hitters in his first two innings. He allowed just a 2-out double to Adolis Garcia in the first. Gilbert would run into a bit of trouble in the 3rd, as a couple hits and an error by SS Jake Hager would allow a run to score with 1 out. Kevin Ginkel would come in to get the final two outs of the inning, which included Jose Herrera throwing out a runner at 3rd attempting to advance on a ball in the dirt. The final line for Gilbert was 2 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
That’s about all that’s existed for good news. After Gilbert left the game, it was a bullpen meltdown that saw them surrender 12 runs. Kevin Ginkel, Kyle Nelson, Caleb Baragar, Tyler Holton, Julio Frias, and Keegan Curtis collectively allowed 12 runs in 5 2⁄3 innings with 5 stirkeouts, 8 walks, and 10 hits. The only pitcher that didn’t give up a run to his own name was Nelson, who had to navigate out of a jam in the 4th.
The offense did next to nothing in this game, with only 3 singles and 2 walks in the first 8 innings. Matt Davidson had a triple in the 9th for the team’s only extra base hit in the game, but it was otherwise total futility on offense. All I can say is I hope the team aren’t going to be relying too much on any of these guys this year.
Torey Lovullo Pre Game Notes
Nick Ahmed is day to day with lingering right shoulder soreness and will get imaging and 2nd opinions. Full Story here.
Zac Gallen will throw a bullpen tomorrow and then pitch in a game on Wednesday, @ Rockies at Salt River Fields. They are targeting 3 IP, 45 pitches.
Torey walked backed previous inferences that Gallen would miss his first turn, saying they’ll re evaluate that after Wednesday’s start. He also hinted that the one or two extra pitchers available due to roster expansion to 28 may allow them to start guys that are not fully stretched out.
The Diamondbacks have looked at the wireless PitchCom Technology to combat sign stealing that some teams are experimenting with during spring training. But they’re not yet attempting to use in any games. Zach Buchanan wrote about the system last November HERE and Britt Ghiroli mentioned it in a twitter thread here that has some interesting info too.