Spring Training: Diamondbacks Get One Win And One Tie On Opening Day; Bauer Shines

The Arizona Diamondbacks opened the 2012 Spring Training season with a win and a tie in their split-squad games. The D-backs downed the Giants 9-6 in a "road" game in Scottsdale while at "home" at Salt River Fields they finished 10 innings tied 1-1 with the Rockies.

Manager Kirk Gibson ran the club at home while Alan Trammell took the offensive show on the road. Justin Upton went 3-3, Chris Young 2-3 with a home run and Ryan Roberts hit another out of the yard. OF Marc Krauss added two hits and three RBI in the win.

Josh Collmenter got touched up for three runs in his start that went two innings and included three hits and two walks allowed.

The defensive duel in the other game was kicked off by Trevor Bauer's impressive start. He went two innings facing the minimum six batters and record two strike outs and four ground balls.

(Here's more on his start including some video of him pitching.)

Patrick Corbin allowed the only run of the game in the fourth inning. He had three walks and was a little wild according to Gibby. Gerardo Parra had the lone RBI.

The big story, of course, was Bauer's first start for the big league club.


Trevor Bauer postgame

"It was fun," the 21-year-old said after the game. "It was baseball again. It's been awhile since I've gotten on the field so it was enjoyable."

He didn't report any nerves and certainly pitched like a guy in complete command of the situation.

"At the core level, you throw strikes and they're hitters and they still got to hit it so it was more of a competition against myself as it always is to try and see if I can execute pitches."

Bauer is known for, among other unique things, his nine-pitch repertoire which needs the help of this handy guide to fully appreciate.

He said he threw his curve ball well which he considers his best breaking pitch. He also threw a fastball, change, slider, and splitter. In fact, he threw two variations of the slider but didn't "get to" throw the reverse slider.

According to Gibby, his secondary pitches looked fantastic, "Some of his secondary pitches were actually better than I've seen anytime that he's thrown so far."

Bauer was pleased with the way he attacked the zone and got ahead of the hitters, "I think today was a pretty efficient outing, especially for the first one of spring. I was pleased with my control and command. I'm pretty happy with all of it."

This game was our first opportunity to see live his famous pregame long toss routine where he stands far in right field and fires the ball all the way to the left field line. It was a sight to see in person. He said that before this game he "only" threw about 360 feet. Normally, he'll throw 400 feet before games but "it's early in Spring."

Here's the explanation he gave for the routine:

"It takes awhile for my body to get moving. The longer I go out, the more efficiently I have to move and get everything kind of connected and moving efficiently to throw the ball that far. I kind of take my time with it and get my body moving together and linked up."

As for the reaction of his teammates, "Their reaction is about 400 feet away so I don't really notice. Sometimes they scatter when I over throw one."

The D-backs have been good about letting Trevor do things his unique way but they did request that he not wear his headphones on the field during pregame warm ups. He's listened to music as part of his preparation since he started learning these mechanics to help get everything "linked up with his body".


Bauer strikes out first hitter faced

With no music available, Bauer relied on singing to himself. He listed the bands "Disturbed" and "Haste the Day" and then went along with whatever was on the stadium public speakers.

Regardless of the mental music of choice, it didn't seem to bother him in the least as he blew threw a formidible list of big league hitters including Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzales and Troy Tulowitzki.

Kirk Gibson down played the outing which was probably smart in terms of managing hype and expectations.

"It's one outing. A spring outing. It could have went the other way but it didn't."

The only other play singled out by Gibby for praise was third basemen Matt Davidson, "Davidson I thought played pretty well over there (at third), showed soft hands, I like the way he looks at the plate."

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