The Diamondback fell 7-6 to the Giants but honestly, who cares about the score. It's all good in Snake country as they take their winless record into their home opener at Talking Stick Fields tomorrow versus the Colorado Rockies. Preseason is great isn't it? You just hang out, play some ball, don't worry about the score. It would be pretty awesome if the entire season worked this way.
Here's what did matter from this game: starting pitcher Joe Saunders and likely candidate to be named "staff ace" threw the ball well in the first inning. He mowed down the side with two fly balls and a strike out behind his good fast balls. Yes, he threw only fast balls in the first inning.
In the second inning however, Saunders got knocked around a tad. Four hits, four earned runs is only a "tad", right?
In this inning Joe mixed in some breaking balls and tried out his cutter that he's working on this season. He said he threw it three times, none for strikes. The pitches that got hit were the breaking balls that didn't break. It's all good though.
"For me, it's more about making sure my arm feels good, my arm is where it needs to be. That's first and foremost. Just excited to get out there, kind of get the early Spring Training jitters out. It was fun to go out there and compete," Saunders said in the clubhouse somewhere around the fifth inning while the game continued on.
Saunders now has an ERA of 21.60 during Spring Training.
Joe was followed in the rotation of starters by young Wade Miley who looks even younger in person than AZ Republic's fine beat writer, Nick Piecoro. Miley threw a solid first inning, with one walk and three ground outs. He gave up two runs somewhere in the next third of an inning by walking a couple of guys and turning the ball over to Zach Kroenke who gave up a hit that drove in Miley's runners.
Miley faced big-leaguers that he grew up watching for the first time and was understandably nervous and exited. He said it was, "awesome".
Offensively, the D-backs got a home run from one of their new guys, Xavier Nady, and rocked Tim Lincecum in the first inning for five hits and three runs. I doubt Lincecum is too concerned about that. It was a fun inning though, started by a Willie Bloomquist single and then a successful hit and run with Melvin Mora. That's something Gibby specifically talked about before the game when he praised Mora's ability to handle the bat.
Justin Upton when 2-3, with an RBI, a run, and a strike out and was caught stealing. Sounds about right for him.
Tomorrow's two "starting" pitchers will be Aaron Heilman and Zach Duke.
Did you know this team has two "Zach's" on it right now?