Baseball is back! At this point I don’t care who the opponent is, and to be honest the Collegiate Series is a great idea. My favorite college team was playing against my favorite team in sports, so either way I was going to be happy.
The Diamondbacks defeated the Sun Devils 4-0 in front of a sparse crowd on Tuesday afternoon at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
From the Sun Devils perspective, it was probably really cool to play against a major league team, and from the Diamondbacks perspective, it’s a good thing they didn’t experience the same outcome that the Phillies did: losing to a college team.
Granted the score doesn’t matter, and ASU is ranked in the top 25 in the nation, but it’s never a good thing for a major league team to loose to a college team.
Even though the game didn’t count towards the team’s Cactus League record, that doesn’t mean there weren’t any takeaways from the action.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a single in his first plate appearance, and was one of several players including Aaron Hill and Cody Ross to get just one chance at the plate.
Yasmany Tomas made his debut in a Diamondbacks uniform going 1-2 at the plate. He also played five innings at third base, but a ball was never hit to him.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when 1B Danny Dorn hit a ground-rule double with the bases loaded and two outs to give the Dbacks a 2-0 lead.
Ben Francisco and Brandon Drury each drove in a run in the 8th, and Jake Barrett closed the game out in the 9th to give the Diamondbacks the victory.
On the mound, starter Andrew Chafin looked good in his two innings of work. He gave up one hit, and struck out three.
Justin Marks came in relief for Chafin, and put two batters on in the third, but he settled down and pitched a scoreless fourth and fifth with three strikeouts.
Reliever Enrique Burgos gave up a couple of hits in eighth inning, but two double plays helped keep the Sun Devils off the board late, and preserve the shutout.
Will Locante also looked solid in his inning of work, backing up what he has done so far in camp. A.J. Schugel was the winning pitcher.
The biggest thing to take away from this game was the Diamondbacks patient two strike approach, and only struck out three times, which is something fans haven’t been accustom to in recent years.
This is what Manager Chip Hale told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com about this type of approach after the game:
"“That’s the type of player I was, and I always believed that pitchers used to get mad because they had a hard time striking me out. Seven or eight pitches you could foul off. It flusters them, so we want to have those types of at-bats.”"
Specifically, Mark Trumbo looked really good at the plate. He fought off several tough breaking pitches in the dirt, and went 1-2.
Tomorrow the Diamondbacks begin their Cactus League schedule with a matchup against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. The game begins at 1:10 and features a pitching matchup of Rubby De La Rosa against Jordan Lyles.