If this afternoon’s appearance is anything to go by - and what is spring training for, if not over-reacting violently to small samples? - than the main issue Zach Davies will have is going to be keeping his pitches in the park. He only allowed two hits to the thirteen batters faced at Sloan Park, but both of them became souvenirs, account for all three of the runs both he and the Diamondbacks would allow on the afternoon. The first came quickly, to the third batter of the game, and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead as Davies had hit the previous man. After retiring the next five, the second home-run came off the bat of former D-back, Ildemaro Vargas. Davies ended up going three innings, with one walk and two strikeouts.
The rest of the pitching was very solid, the Arizona bullpen holding Chicago the rest of the way, throwing five hitless innings, on three walks and seven strikeouts. The bulk of the pitching (and all of the walks) was by Dan Straily, who worked 2.2 scoreless frames, striking out five. Sean Poppen struck out both batters he faced, and Oliver Perez then went four up, four down. All told, you shouldn’t normally lose too many games when holding the opposition to just a pair of hits. and the final K:BB ratio of 9:4 wasn’t terrible. But the D-backs offense wasn’t able to capitalize on a slew of scoring opportunities, going 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Both of those hits came in the second inning, and were responsible for the D-backs’ pair of runs. New contract guy Ketel Marte doubled in Geraldo Perdomo, and was then pushed across home-plate himself by a Pavin Smith single. But given three walks in the inning, Arizona should probably have scored more. Jack McCarthy was thrown out, trying to take home on a passed ball; revenge of sorts for the Cubs’ catcher, whose error led to McCarthy being on third-base to begin with. The rest of the way saw no shortage of knocks: Arizona outhit Chicago 9-2 overall, with two each for Marte, Smith and McCarthy, the last-named adding a walk. But the tying run proved elusive, and the D-backs dropped to 5-7.
Tomorrow, the D-backs return to Salt River Fields, though it’s technically a “road” game against the Rockies. First pitch is at 1:10 pm, with Caleb Smith starting for Arizona.