The consecutive wins over the Guardians by the same score, means the Diamondbacks finish their preseason having gone 11-10 with one tie. That’s a winning record which seemed quite unlikely, after they lost their first four games of spring. But as we all know, what likely matters more is getting through spring unscathed. I can’t say Arizona did that, with injuries robbing them of the services of Nick Ahmed, Jordan Luplow and Josh Rojas for Opening Day. But after last year, you’ll understand me being more concerned about the pitching staff, and it seems that the count of functioning arms there is more or less what was expected, with even Zac Gallen looking good to make a start first time through.
Speaking of which, Torey Lovullo confirmed the rotational order for the Diamondbacks before this game. After Madison Bumgarner getting the expected start on Opening Day, he will be followed by Merrill Kelly, Zach Davies, Caleb Smith (getting the open spot after a very solid spring) and then Gallen. Zac went 3.2 innings today, allowing a run on four hits and a walk, with a pair of strikeouts. He threw a total of 51 pitches, and his velo was fairly consistent in the 94 mph range. Just a little bit of control seemed to be lost towards the end of his outing. The bullpen then threw 5.2 innings of two-hit shutout ball, let by Humberto Catellano’s two hitless innings with a pair of K’s.
The offense didn’t get much done, especially the players whose names you would recognize. Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the first, Christian Walker, doubling home Daulton Varsho. But the game then remained tie until the last of the seventh by which point most of the regulars had already hit the showers. Jean Waters (a 20-year-old, signed out of Mexico we signed last year) doubled in Danyer Sanabria (a 20-year-old, signed out of Venezuela), and then scored himself on an RBI single by Juan Graterol. That proved to be the margin of victory, with the D-backs making the most of their four hits and four walks. The official attendance was 6,448. I doubt there were one-tenth of that actually present.
But, regardless, it’s all over. We now await the announcement of the 28 men who will make up the Opening Day roster, and then can look forward to the first game on Thursday.