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Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 0: Blink and miss it

S’funny what a difference actual pitchers make

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 1-3. Change on 2022: +1

Emmanuel Rivera swatted a walk-off three-run homer, and the D-backs got their pitching back on track, seven pitchers combining on a two-hit shutout of the Cubs. After the last couple of days, this was a very refreshing change indeed. Brandon Pfaadt was the starter, and worked through his two innings so quickly. he likely had to throw some more in the bullpen. He needed only 23 pitches to get six outs, around a walk and a hit. We then got scoreless innings from Joe Mantiply, Scott McGough, Corbin Martin, Justin Martinez, Bryce Jarvis (two) and Raffi Vizcaino. Martinez might have been the most impressive, tossing a 1-2-3 sixth inning on 11 pitches, reaching 101.8 mph on one offering.

Before Rivera’s blast (above), there had not been much to speak off offensively by the Diamondbacks. They had their chances, but went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position prior to the walk-off, which was also Arizona’s first extra-base hit. For the first time, we saw what a game clock could do. this completing in 2:04 - it might have been under two hours, except for an injury delay during the final at-bat, leading to a pitching change. For comparison, the quickest D-backs game last year was 2:13, with only two being under 2:30. There was also an oddity during Mantiply’s inning, when both he AND the hitter were charged with a clock violation, meaning the at-bat started with a 1-1 count!

There will be further action tonight at Salt River, as the D-backs take on a collegiate opponent in West Virginia, with a 6:40 pm first pitch. Regular Cactus League play resumes tomorrow, when the D-backs will take on the White Sox at Salt River Fields, with a 1:10 pm first pitch, but no broadcast. Zach Davies makes his first spring start.