Still Not There

As expected, the Diamondbacks beat the Sun Devils yesterday. The score was 6-2, but that makes it sound closer than it actually was.

If, as I said yesterday, preseason baseball is horsehide methadone, then reading box scores from games between MLB and college teams is–with apologies to any heroin addicts who may be reading this–like sucking throat lozenges to stave off your cravings.

But in the absence of any more compelling ideas, let’s enjoy that cool menthol flavor.

Arizona took an early 2-0 lead off of Ryan Hingst, leaving him with a 9.00 ERA. Fortunately for Ryan, yesterday’s stats don’t count against his Pac-12 record.

ASU came back in the second, tying the game with a pair off Yuhei Nakaushiro, who went 1/3 of an inning. That gives him a preseason ERA of 54.00, and unfortunately, that number does count. Not as much as his performance in later preseason games will, of course, but it’s not a good start. Four straight singles out of the bullpen isn’t confidence building–on the other hand, he’s had problems with his control; at least his showing suggests he’s getting the ball over the plate.

All was quiet for a couple of innings, before the Diamondbacks broke the tie in the fifth on a walk and a two-out triple. That was followed by two more walks before ASU got a bases-loaded pop up to escape with no further damage.

And then, of course, the wheels came off in the sixth. Arizona beat up poor Brady Corrigan and Drake Davis for three runs on a combined four walks, one hit batter, and a single. Corrigan’s inning of work left him with a 9.00 ERA on the day, and Davis matched Nakaushiro’s lack of success, giving up two runs in a third of an inning for a 54.00 ERA.

At that, Davis only got the third out thanks to batter’s interference. Said batter, one Jason Morozowski had a lousy day day at the plate, going 0-2 and leaving six runners stranded. Had he not been nabbed for interference, the Diamondbacks could easily have picked up another couple of runs.

In an early sign that MLB’s emphasis on speeding up games this season is working, this one ended a bare two hours and thirty-three minutes after it began. Don’t look for that success to be replicated during the season, though, as this game was scheduled for seven innings and only went six and a half.

More exciting, unbroadcast pro/am play tomorrow, with five games featuring the Twins, Phillies, Tigers, and Red Sox (twice) against college teams.

It won’t do much for our desperate need for baseball, but at least our breath will be fresh.

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