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D-backs Review Spring Game #16 - Split Squad CHC (0) v ARI (6)

Solid all around baseball for the D-backs

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Alrighty. Review number one for me! It’s gonna be a good day. I’m already having a pretty good day, D-backs, so let’s not ruin it: Off work, two baseball games to review, oh and just the birth of my best friends’ daughter, Iris!

I’ll be writing this as I listen, so you’ll get my “live” thoughts. But first some round up I’ve seen today pre-gametime. Former IL-warmer AJ Pollock has been traded by That Team to the West in exchange for right angle loving Craig Kimbrel. Seems like both bad contracts are simply being swapped. While Kimbrel can still be a solid arm, I’m not really worried about him in LA. We were unlikely to beat them often this season anyway, especially in later innings. As for Pollock, eh. Ok. Enjoy the South Side, hope you enjoy wind and blizzards on March 31, 2022.

Secondly and more important, Arizona extended Merrill Kelly today on a 2 year $18 Million deal with a team option. He’ll be signed through 2024, possibly 2025. Seems like a good enough deal. I like the guy, he’s reliable if unspectacular. He’s a safety net if our pitching prospects stumble in the MLB or a (hopefully) good value trade candidate.

Also, DeGrom now shut down at least 4 weeks. Sucks for the Mets, but also, lol the Mets…Poor guy could’ve been a HOFer if he’d played elsewhere. Plus side, we play the Mets twice in April. This can only help our early season outlook.

Starting Lineups:

Arizona:

  • CF Varsho
  • 2B Marte
  • LF Peralta
  • 1B Walker
  • RF Smith, P
  • DH Davidson
  • 3B Ellis
  • SS Alcantara
  • C Herrera
  • SP Bumgarner

Chicago:

  • SS Hoerner
  • RF Suzuki
  • 1B Schwindel
  • CF Heyward
  • 3B Wisdom
  • LF Happ
  • C Gomes
  • 2B Vargas
  • DH Triantos
  • SP Hendricks

Inning 1: After 5 consecutive outs, Peralta hit a double to the opposite field. But Walker popped out to end the first with no scoring. Best news, Bumgarner was efficient and effective! At the same time! 0-0

Inning 2: Apparently Herrera made a good play on a pop out in the top half. But they noted that neither MadBum nor Walker moved to help him. Not sure if that’s a spring thing (let the catchers work on their defense) or if we should be worried. Again, MadBum looks good. Offense less so. Ellis walked but was thrown out stealing Second… 0-0

Inning 3: Bumgarner still doing his best to get players out, but Ellis misplayed a ball so batter number 9 (something called a Triantos) got to First for Chicago’s first runner of the game. Varsho had his back though and caught out number 3. Alcantara had a good at bat, but eventually struck out. Followed up by a VARSHO SOLO HOMER (sandwiched between ground outs for Herrera and Marte)! Man I’m glad I picked him up for fantasy. 1-0 D-backs

Inning 4: Longer inning here for MadBum, but not too bad. Mostly Swindel had a really good at bat, but it resulted in K number 2 for the rancher. Which he followed up with a quick strike out of Heyward to end the top half. Hendricks had a rougher go of it as Peralta walked to lead off the better half of the inning. WALKER HITS A 2-RUN HOMER TO CENTER! PAVIN SMITH HITS A SOLO HOMER TOO (to center)! Nobody wanted to be left out of the fun. Davidson couldn’t join in the fun, but ELLIS COULD! MASSIVE SOLO HOMER TO LEFT! Sadly Herrera grounded out to end the inning. 5-0 D-backs

Inning 5: Bumgarner is in his element now, striking out the side to bring his pitch count all the way up to 55 (39 strikes). It’s a weak lineup to face for sure, but this is an encouraging final tune up before Opening Day. In the bottom half, Hendricks gets Varsho to fly out before being taken out for Daniel Norris. Marte grounded out, but Peralta forced a single through the shift! Inning ended with Walker popping out. 5-0 D-backs

Inning 6: Tons of changes to get playing time in. Jorge Barrosa in CF, Buddy Kennedy at 2B, Alvin Guzman in LF, Leandro Cedeno at 1B (WHO???), Dominic Canzone in RF and sadly, Ian Kennedy as P. Kennedy threw 7 pitches to retire the side. Mostly, the Cubs were just super aggressive. But Cedeno, Davidson and Ellis weren’t any better. 5-0 D-backs

Inning 7: Sean Poppin pitched the Seventh. It wasn’t pretty (21 pitches, 2 runners), but he didn’t allow a run, so success? Alcantara led off with a double, but apparently didn’t hustle, probably could’ve had a triple. Kennedy hit a double down the line in left, scoring Alcantara. All in all the DBacks hitters made Chris Martin work to get out of the inning. 6-0 D-backs

Inning 8: More defensive changes: Vukovich at 3B, Bliss at SS, Graterol at C. Poppin continues to pitch. Many many pitches. Taken out after 38 of them overall. Two strikeouts on either side of an Ildemaro Vagas single. Stumpo relieved him and got the final out on a single pitch. I do really like this guy. But Canzone grounded out, Cedeno struck out, and Wilderd Patrino (batting for Davidson) also struck out.

Inning 9: Ginkel replaced Stumpo and sent the Cubbies down in order on 9 pitches.

Final Thoughts: Overall a pretty excellent showing for the Snakes, albeit against a pretty bad team. If nothing else, it was good to see MLB guys locked in, and pretty great pitching across the board (not you Poppin).

Talk to you again in a few hours!